Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Academy Award Nominations: Proof That Hollywood Is An Old Man With Alzheimer’s

Wow. Did you see the movies nominated for Academy Awards? I only saw one on the list. As you all know, I really only rent movies because I can’t stand to be in a movie theater with the typical movie going public. Stinky, mouth breathers all of them. But that’s not my point here.

I will probably rent the likes of “Good Night and Good Luck,” “Capote”(PS Hoffman rules) and possibly “Munich.” I’ll even rent “Brokeback Mountain” but I’ll only watch it in the company of my wife so I don’t catch the gay from it. My wife said I’m afraid to watch it because I’d probably get a boner. Maybe so. No, I’ll see it because by all accounts it supposed to be a good film. And I hope it wins because that means another film on the list (the one I have seen) won’t win.

That film is “Crash.” A movie made by assholes for assholes.

“Crash” is such a terrible movie I am completely shocked that it’s even mentioned in the same breath as the Academy Awards. Sure the Awards are usually for crappy movies and are just an industry hand job, but I really thought that a film of such amazing shitty-ness couldn’t possibly have gotten itself nominated.

This movie is such a turd; you can smell it within five minutes of pushing play on your DVD player. My mom asked me today if I had seen it and I went into exacting detail on how bad it was. She said, “I heard it was good.” Well, mom, you and the rest of the country heard wrong.

“Crash” is not only a heavy handed and ridiculous exercise in exploring the most outrageous racist situations; it’s just a crap movie. There’s no doubt that racism exists, but “Crash” shoves it in your face and crams it down your throat as if you didn’t know that. Everyone is a racist and a stereotype in this movie but it’s so over the top that you can’t see anything but the racism. Sure, it’s about racism, but there’s absolutely no character development because everyone is too busy being racist. I’m mean seriously, even racists aren’t racists 24 hours a day right? Not in writer/director Paul Haggis’ world.

The black cop is racist to the female Latino cop. The white woman is racist towards the Mexican locksmith, the Iranian guy is a dick, the white cop shakes down black people, the black guy the white cop humiliated tries to be a white guy….it goes on and on. There is nothing subtle to it and when something is this obvious it typically means that the writer was not skilled enough to deliver his ideas in a way that will make you think for yourself, but in a fashion that only jerks can understand.

There’s part where a white cop asks the black cop “what is it with you black people?” or something to that effect. Who says this? I’m sure someone has, but for that, and all the other examples to happen in one movie just seems like an orgy of racist fantasies. It doesn’t work.

I used to work in elevators. I would wipe them down and take out light scratches. I worked all over the downtown Denver area and saw all kinds of people. I was working in a building one day, riding up and down the elevator, cleaning the metal when people would get off. There was a phone company or something in the building and it happened to employ a lot of black people.

On a side note to this, the black people who work in these buildings were always very nice to me while white people were snide, rude and typically offended by my presence in their elevator. I don’t consider this a “Crash” (or is that “crass”) style generalization because I worked all over, for a few years and it was always the same. The white people, on the whole, fucking sucked.

So I was cleaning an elevator one day and after a group of black folk got off, it was just me and one white guy left. He said something like, “that’s a fun job,” (I always hated that because it made it seemed like their crappy phone job was soooo much better) and I said “yeah, there’s a lot of finger prints on these doors that are hard to get off.” The door opened, he started to get off and turned back to me and said, “yeah, monkey prints.”

The doors closed and I just kind of stood there with my mouth open. Here was this white guy who worked around a large group of black people and had this amazing amount of hostility built up toward them. He finally was able to let it out to a “fellow white guy” and he probably felt pretty good about it. To me it was horrifying.

Outward racism is obvious. It’s loud, unintelligent and usually takes care of itself because it’s just so outrageous and bizarre. But the subtle and quiet racism is what scares me. This type has a much more sinister air to it and I believe is more dangerous.

The dickheads who made “Crash” couldn’t be bothered to write about real racism; they had to do a cartoon version just to appease dumb wankers who can feel good about themselves because they haven't openly said "nigger" in over a decade. Making a movie like that would have been challenging and after seeing “Crash” (actually I turned it off ¾ of the way through because it smoked so much pole) these fuckers couldn’t have hit a burning cross with a wadded up Klan robe.

If “Crash” wins, I will never watch another movie again. Ok, maybe that’s a bit too hasty. How about “another movie written and/or directed by Paul Haggis again”? If “Crash” is this bad, what’s that say about the other movies? When I finally watch “Broke Back Mountain,” I’ll let you know if it gave me a boner.

JR

Monday, January 30, 2006

Nü Country: worse than Backstreet, Britney and Korn combined

Ug. Nü Country isn’t too far off from Nü Metal or Boy Band pap from late 90’s. Actually it’s worse because with Nü Metal and shitty pop music, at least the people making it know they are creating music for kids and brain dead morons. There’s no shame in making kid’s music, it’s just when Marilyn Manson pretends that he’s NOT making music exclusively for pimply teens, it gets me riled. Nü Country meatheads are making music for grown ass adults and don’t even think twice about how bad it is.

Nü Country just fucking sucks in so many ways. I saw a billboard for a new (not Nü) country station in Denver called “Willlie 92.5.” Well, I love Willie (as in Nelson) so I tuned in to check out what they had going on. The station claimed to play “wide open country” meaning they don’t play the same old crap that competing station KYGO would play. I took this to mean that “Willie” would actually play Willie and maybe some Johnny, Merle and quite possibly some Hank. But no. It was the same horrific, bad pop country that masquerades as country music.

When I had ankle surgery awhile back, I went to a physical therapy place that pumped KYGO over the speakers every time I went. I’ll go to great lengths to bitch about how much I hate that shitty, shitty music to you dear reader, but in a situation like that, I keep my mouth shut and let the lady work on my surgically repaired ankle. Besides, how could I write about it if I didn’t suffer through it?

KYGO plays the worst of the Nü Country. The Allan Jackson’s, Kenny Cheesney’s and the man I believe is responsible for continued terror attacks, Toby Keith. I like country music; I’m listening to a great Hank Williams record called “Turning Back the Years: Essential Hank Williams Collection” as I type this right now. So it’s not like I don’t enjoy the genre. It’s just that Nü Country is terrible pop music done with a southern accent and vaguely (and sometimes not so vaguely) nationalistic overtones. But really the bottom line is it just sucks harder than golfer Phil Mickelson’s uptight white guy face. This music is powerful bad.

So I gave “Willie 92.5” a listen and all the promos said things like, “we play all the country music unlike those other stations.” Oh yeah? So how come when I listened for that hour, I only heard eardrum piercing crap like “Honky Tonk Budunkadunk,” (seriously, that’s what it’s called) and some awful sad bastard ballad where some wuss sang about drinking wine and crying over a woman. Drinking and crying have always been themes in country music, but never have they been handled so poorly and wimpily than they have in this song. When Merle Haggard sang about drinking wine, he was doing it in a shitty bar or laying in an alley, crying over his lost love. In the Nü Country world, these creeps are taking a bath and sitting in front of the fire in their slippers. This is the sonic equivalent to having Slayer start singing about using moisturizer and shopping at IKEA. So sad, it shakes me to the core.

Needless to say, I won’t be turning on “Willie” anymore because the station dropped the ball so quickly after I tuned in that spending any more time listening would only waste precious seconds of my life that I would could spend listening to the sound of my own breathing. If I was Willie (not “Willie”) I’d sue these bastards for soiling my good name.

JR

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Mail bag!

Oh boy, got a lot of comments recently...someone must have linked the site because the freaks and assholes came out in droves to buy into what I'm selling. There's a bunch of new ones (so look thru the posts) and I've selected two choice cuts below. One from an irate christian who thinks Jesus invented music and another from an anonymous fan boy. Oh and don't miss the comment from the dick who said I'm down with Sadam Hussein because I think Dick Cheney sucks. He sent links to photos of Hussein's atrocities. Fuck you man. Funny, I don't remember endorsing Hussein or his atrocities, but hey, that's what you get from internet cowards. Read the posts if you're interested in some real assholism. Enjoy

Greg Neumeyer said...
"If someone said “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy Kwanzaa,” I wouldn’t bat an eye. I’d say “thanks, you too,” and keep on keepin’ on."

So why do you expect a Christian to neuter his holidays to please your sensibilities? No Christian I know wants to keep a Jew from wishing anyone "Happy Hanukkah", but you want to forcibly keep anyone from recognizing theirs.

Are you so weak you can't bear to be reminded that it is Christians that created this time of the year you like so much? Or maybe you are reminded of the fact that the Church created not just this holiday you enjoy, but the 6, then 5 day work week? Or the abolition of slavery...or the creation of music...or universities...or discovered biology? Or invented the way of counting hours that you use?


and I said:

first of all dickhead, the point of the piece is that no one should be forced to recognize any religious bullshit.

you make is seem like i said "happy kwaanzaa" is ok but "merry christmas" is not. that's not what i said you fuck.

you get all uptight when someone challenges your christian beliefs and you start making things up.

go ahead, say "merry christmas" just don't come down on someone because they don't say it. i love christmas! it's great. and i don't even believe in your fantasy character jesus.

"but you want to forcibly keep anyone from recognizing theirs" is your quote. that's just a goddamned lie. show me where i said that and i'll go to church with you. christians love to put words in people's mouths. i want people to recognize and honor their holiday and religion, i just don't want them to suck so bad while doing it.

and as far as the rest of your comments about christianity inventing everything: christmas started out as a pagan holiday. the christians took it over and assigned christ's birthday to it. i'm sure he's stoked about that.

christians invented music? that's just fucking hilarious. please, please, please get your head out of your butthole and think about what you're saying. i wholeheartedly endorse your need for religion. just like how any other mentally ill person needs their medication. but just take a look around once in awhile and notice how full of shit you are. i do it, so why can't you?

JR

Anonymous Pussy said...
Lame. I liked the Spoon offering till I heard you like it.

Sometimes having the sorryist champion is enough to turn you off...kind of like when Jimmy Carter started talking up Howard Dean.


And I said:
the fact that you'd care so much about what i think makes me all warm inside.

why on earth would you be reading what i wrote if you were such a non-fan? it's because people like you claim to not like something or someone, yet always come back to see what they're up to. you can't stay away!

total fucking hypocrite. when i don't like something, i don't bother with it. that's what it means to not like something. you don't have anything more to do with it.

but you have to keep feeding your ego don't you? sending anonymous comments to your hero....do us all a favor, either admit your love (i'm cool with that) or just go the fuck away.

JR

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Worst People in America

Simply put, this is the most honest and accurate depiction of the psychotic, deluded and self-righteous assholes who are running the US right now. Enjoy.

http://buffalobeast.com/91/50.htm

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Let's Trade Dick Cheney for Jill Carroll

Why does Jill Carroll matter more than anyone else who has been kidnapped in Iraq?
Everyone is up arms over the kidnapping of the Christian Science Monitor freelance journalist and I can’t for the life of me figure out why.

Carroll is no more important than anyone else nabbed by Iraqi insurgents, so why is there such a concentrated effort to free her? No one put this much work into freeing the poor saps who had their heads cut off before her, so I fail to see why she is so important.

Carroll’s family had pleaded with her captors to let her go because she was telling the the story of the suffering of the Iraqi people. Fair enough. If more people cut through the Fox News bullshit, your average SUV driving asshole might be a bit more reluctant to blindly support the war. But the insurgents can’t pick and choose. One person can’t be deemed good in this mess while others are deemed “less good.”

It would be a horrible tragedy if this young woman ends up dead, but isn’t it a horrible tragedy when anyone ends up dead over there? The bad guys never get what’s coming to them. In a situation like this, only the relatively innocent will get harmed. If Dick Cheney was kidnapped, they would have grabbed themselves someone who has actually impacted their lives in a negative way. They would have gotten their man. And how fast do you think their demands would be met if ol’ Dick was paraded around on a crappy video tape for the world to see. In a damn heartbeat. Hell, I’d say trade Dick Cheney for Jill Carroll. Would too many people really care? If the nation could vote on it, Dick would be on the first plane to Baghdad, looking like Donald Pleasence from Escape From New York. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi will play the Duke of New York. When Cheney’s handed over and Carroll is released, the country will cheer like they were watching a video tape of Omarosa getting hit by a car.

No, only the people who are doing the right thing or the folks just following orders get caught up in this mess. That’s why it’s tragic. But these monsters can’t suddenly grow a conscience and let this woman go because she’s “one of the good ones.” Because of the fact that we live in America and our tax dollars and Wal Mart purchases are going toward the war effort in Iraq makes us vulnerable to anything those bastards can dish out. You, me and Jill Carroll are all a part of it.

This is eerily similar to the story of Natalee Hollway who disappeared in Aruba. While dozens of women go missing all the time, once a pretty blonde disappeared, all hell broke loose. Why was she any different than a less pretty girl or, a black girl, who goes missing? She’s not, but when the situation affects the right people and the media yanks on the heart strings like Jenna Jameson jacking off two hot, horny studs, suddenly something must be done.

I hope Jill Carroll comes home safe. It seems like she was trying to do the right thing in Iraq, but the right thing and the wrong thing pretty much run together during a war. You can’t expect violent extremists to make the distinction, just like you can’t expect the Bush Administration to admit its failure with the whole fucked up war.

The US won’t negotiate with these people and that’s to be expected. She’ll probably end up dead, if she isn’t already. And if she comes out alive, that would be great. But if and when she ends up dead, I think the girl’s parents should ask Dick Cheney if he gives a shit. “Are they stockholders of Halliburton?” he’ll ask. “They’re not? Well, then I don’t really give a shit.”

You’re the Duke of Baghdad DICK. You’re an ‘A’ Number One A-hole.

JR

Monday, January 23, 2006

Salmon Rushdie: Deliciously Funny

If you scroll down through the posts, you’ll see the piece I wrote about the TV show The Book of Daniel. A comment was posted by someone calling himself “Salmon Rushdie.” A nickname that I thought was a clever take on controversial author “Salman Rushdie.” Since it was a piece on religion, I thought the person who commented on the story, who was declaring Fatwa on me, was just fueling the religious fire with a play on the Satanic Verses author’s name. Not so.

I’m out at Lounge the other night (which is closing at the end of this month) for one last hurrah and my good friend Matt comes up to me. He says, “I misspelled Salman Rushdie’s name…..” I looked at him and said, “Are you Salmon Rushie?” He nodded and I busted up laughing. In his haste to post a comment and give himself a clever nickname, he unintentionally gave himself a fucking hilarious one. He didn’t realize his mistake until he read my comment back about eating him with a side of rice.

I chided him for a few more minutes and told anyone who would listen about Matt’s delicious mistake. Then he berated me for only posting to my site once in awhile and told me I was pathetic for not writing more. So I thought I’d kick off more frequent writing (don’t hold me to it) with the awesome legend of “Salmon” Rushdie. Here’s to you Salmon and your savory flesh.

JR

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ewww, what is that? It's THE FLAVOR OF LOVE

Let’s give it up to the best show currently on television: The Flavor of Love.

Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav continues to flex his reality show muscle in this incredible reality show that basically asks the question: what kind of sick freak would want to marry Flavor Flav? Gold Diggin' Bitches, that’s who.

Flavor of Love puts a new spin on shows like the Bachelor (or bee-yatchelor) but it’s kind of more like Joe Millionaire or My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancée because you can’t help but wonder when the punch-line will be delivered. Flavor of Love has plenty of walking punch-lines masquerading as women, and it’s fantabulous to watch them fight and claw over the scrawny Flav.

Don’t get the wrong impression, I love Flavor Flav. I was a huge Public Enemy fan in the 80’s and Flav, like a fine fortified wine, has just gotten better with age, but he’s a gross little man and I can’t for the life of me figure out why a woman would want to have sex with him, let alone touch him. Oh yeah, they get to live in his mansion and partake of his “wealth.” Well ladies, Flav might be a good guy and possess a unique personality that will never be seen on this planet again, but he doesn’t have Puff Diddly money. Shit, he doesn’t even have MC Hammer money, so I’m not sure what they’re getting all excited about. Hey, maybe they really love Flav. Watching the show, I think a few actually do, but for the most part, there’s a Kanye West song you might have heard that sums them up.

Flav has given all the ladies nicknames because he can’t remember anyone’s name. Did you see the Surreal Life that he was on? He had no idea who anyone was and couldn’t have remembered their names if they had the name tag stapled to their foreheads. So Flav handed out nicknames to these ladies like “Oyster” (suspiciously changed to “Red Oyster” after the first show), “Hoopz,” New York,” “Goldie,” “Miss Latin,” “Apples,” “Shellz” and “Peaches.” For a lot of these he was just staring at their tits and came up with a descriptive word for jugs….I mean, I’m surprised one wasn’t just called “Jugs.”

The catty infighting began almost immediately when Über-skank “New York” (who seriously looks like a man in drag) threw down the gauntlet and tried to get into one of the girl’s heads by acting crazy and aggressive…..never seen that before in a reality show where whores are competing for a chance at superficial love with some dude they just met. “New York” (who doesn’t have an Adam’s apple, I checked, but may have a penis tucked under her tight whore pants) throws more gas on the fire as she tangles with a new girl every week; it’s epic.

Like I said, I think a few of the girls actually like Flav. “Red Oyster” seems to be there for the right reasons even though she’s ratting out the other girls at an alarming rate. “Rain” was a good person but she was eliminated after the second episode. She helped “Goldie” when she got drunk and puked in a trashcan and was bounced for her efforts. “Rain” genuinely liked Flav and seemed to be a fan of his work in PE. She tangles with “New York” in the van in the most incredible display of head jerking and chin jutting I’ve ever seen on a reality show.

“Goldie,” who Flav describes as “country” is pretty cool. She’s not as hot as some of the other girls, but seems down to earth and apparently loves to party. I think she has the best shot to go far into the contest, but I’m thinking some tighter asses may prevail. “Pumpkin” is the last remaining white girl and while she may get deep into the final rounds, I just don’t think she’s going to make it; even though she’s a “substitute teacher” and a “cheerleading coach.” Of which she mentioned repeatedly in an almost autistic fashion. Great stuff.

Regardless of what happens, we’re guaranteed an amazing finish to this show. In just three episodes we’ve seen all shades of crazy and it’s just getting started. Some may call this the bottom of the barrel of reality television, but I find it to be the best of the bunch. I can’t stand terrible shit like the Bachelor and Survivor because the people on those shows take themselves way too seriously. And because the shows are allegedly so well respected, the people on them get treated like celebrities. But oh, they’re not. At least the ladies on Flavor of Love are trashy and they don’t care who knows it. Ok, maybe they don’t know it, but we do.

I just hope Flav can find his true love and move on from the heartbreak he suffered after Brigitte Nielsen left him for that effeminate Italian guy. That’s enough to make any man fall in love with a post-op transsexual named “New York.” Do you know what time it is?

JR

Friday, January 13, 2006

War Time in Westword

The folks over at Westword loved what I had to say about Xcel Energy soooooo much that they reprinted in the Off Limits section of this week's edition.

http://www.westword.com/Issues/2006-01-12/news/offlimits.html

Ok,ok. Maybe, just maybe, they needed to fill some space and I offered my Colorado specific take on a current event to them and they took me up on it. Any way you slice it, Mom is always happy to see her son's name in print that doesn't involve telling local columnists to "suck my dick to your lips fall off." Yeah.

Anyway, if you read what I wrote earlier this version has actual quotes from a guy at Xcel Energy. The lazy, write-something-and-hope-no-one-notices-the-factual- innaccuracies just doesn't fly for them folks over at Westword I guess. Enjoy.

JR

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Book of Daniel: Buddy Christ Goes Primetime

Of course tight-assed Christians are pissed off about the new TV show, the Book of Daniel. This is no surprise. Of course they want it banned from television; this is what they do. The American Christian can’t handle any sort of alternate look at his or her religion. They just can’t take it. Anything other than a rosy, happy picture of their hypocritical, bullshit religion is not tolerated.

But let’s put aside my disdain for those complete fuckheads for one minute shall we? The Book of Daniel, NBC’s bewildering stab at a prime time dramedy (ala Desperate Housewives and such) isn’t really bad as a television show. It’s just not my bag, but I watched it nonetheless because Christian assholes drew my attention to it. Had these jerks not made such a stink, this show could be cancelled soon. But no, they had to raise their indignant fists to the air and proclaim that their 2,000 year old religion, one they are so sure is correct that they’ll cram it down anyone’s throat, has been derailed by an OK TV that no one is going to watch six weeks from now. Heaven will be jam packed with the dumbest pricks apparently.

The Book of Daniel is about an Episcopalian minister whose wife might drink too much, his one son is gay, the other is a horny, adopted Chinese kid and the daughter got busted for selling pot because she want to fund her animation career (?). Yeah, it sounds a bit over the top, but this is television and would you really want to watch this if everyone was normal? Oh and the minister has a slight pain killer addiction.

The reason why 7th Heaven is so shitty is not because it’s about a minister and the bland story, but because everyone on the show is so damn perfect, you can’t relate to them. I don’t need my TV characters to be sick freaks; I just want them to normal and have essentially normal problems like real people. The characters on the Book of Daniel, while a little extreme, seem to be a normal American family.

Oh yeah, then there’s the Jesus thing.

The minister talks to Jesus. No, not like someone praying he doesn’t get herpes from the skank he just banged, he really talks to Jesus. Jesus is in the car with him, outside his house while he smokes a cigar, and generally everywhere he needs a little breather from life. Jesus scolds him for taking the pain meds but is compassionate when he needs advice on how to deal with some of the problems presented in the show.

Christians are hitting the roof over this because only they can dictate who can actually talk to Jesus. They have the market cornered on the man/god and they’ll be damned if some gay-condoning, pill poppin’, Chinese son havin’ minister is going to claim to speak to the guy. Bush can claim to talk to God, so why can’t an actual minister? Bush is a bad man and no one bats an eye when he claims God told him to invade the Middle East. That’s fucking crazy talk as far as I’m concerned, but no one seems to care.

Jesus is kind of the like the Buddy Christ from Kevin Smith’s Dogma. In fact, at one point, he even gives the double thumbs up to the minister, just like Buddy Christ. It’s really comical actually but he’s never meant as a joke. This Jesus is a good guy, just like you’re supposed to believe. He’s caring and nice and just wants the best for his followers. He seems like that stoned friend who always knows the right thing to say.

A side note: Me and Aaron Mikulich had and idea for a show well over 10 years ago called “Hola Jesus” (pronounced like the Spanish Hay-soos) where Jesus lives with a guy in his apartment. I only wish we had written it up because obviously someone would have given it a long look and I’d be a famous TV producer right now. Oh well.

The characters that do come off as bad are the rich couple who are the evil, know-it-all members of the church who are constantly pushing the minister in directions they want him to go. They are supposed to be good, church going people but they really represent the classic hypocritical Christian that is alright with whatever you do, as long as it doesn’t conflict with what they think is right. As in: y’all can be gay, just don’t go sticking your dick up no ass, kind of people. These are the kind of people who will protest a show like this and if there is a hell, they’ll be there.

So with that unflattering stereotype presented in the show, why are these jack offs protesting characters that actually have faith and want to be good folk? Because the type of person who would protest this is so insecure in their shaky religion that they have to go on the attack just to keep their lame beliefs afloat. It’s like the bully who’s one punch to the jaw away from being exposed for the pussy that his is; the American Christian claws and fights every inch of the way to live in that sweet state of denial they’ve enjoyed for all this time. Life must be good there.

Is the show good? Eh. It’s alright. As far as TV shows of this ilk, it’s not bad. Really the hook is the guy hangs out with Jesus. I kind of look at Jesus as a made up character as it is, so I don’t see any problem with it. It’s kind of like My Favorite Martian or Mr. Ed but with the Son of God instead of a talking horse.

Hey, the guy could do worse in the imaginary friend category. He could be talking to someone that’s telling him to kill and invade Iraq. And while that would make great television, we don’t want that to see that do we? Well, somebody sure likes that idea. And I’m sure they’re waving a flag and raising a stink about the Book of Daniel as we speak. More WAR in 06!

JR

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Xcel Energy: Burning the ad budget to keep my ass warm

When the opponents of Xcel Energy’s proposed gas rate hike packed the meeting of the public utilities commission awhile back, many questions were asked as to why Xcel was yet again raising its rates. But no one asked the obvious question: if there is a product that everyone uses and typically can’t live without, why does the company need to advertise?

For those who don’t know or those who live in unheated hovels, Xcel Energy is the huge energy company that provides heat and electricity to Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. That’s only 10 states and 3.3 million customers. The poor guys, they must not make any money at all! I can see why they need to advertise.

Listen to any Avalanche game on AM 950 the Fan, and you’ll hear an Xcel Energy ad during every break. Does oxygen (the element, not the fine Women’s cable channel) need to advertise? Everyone uses it. We can’t live without it, yet there are no expensive TV and radio spots telling you all about the benefits of that particular product.

Xcel sponsors an elaborate light show at Avalanche games as well. Can the company justify a rate hike when it’s burning its logo into the retina of everyone in attendance? When you’ve just spent $50 on a ticket and another $50 buying a couple of beers, do you really want to reminded in a blinding flash that you’ve got an outrageous heating bill waiting at home for you? The only thing worse would be if the IRS sponsored an overwrought and ear splitting halftime show at a Colorado Crush game.

So why does Xcel have to advertise? Everyone uses their products, and right now, it might just be impossible to not use their service without freezing your nipples off. No one cares how or why the highwaymen of the natural gas game are making your life better; just don’t charge us anymore for telling the world about it in the commercials. Eliminating the ad budget of Xcel Energy could help reduce the cost of warming your butt cheeks. And it will help me to afford $10 beers at the hockey game as well.

JR

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Franz Ferdinand and the Suckiness of Pitchfork

As I stated in my year end round up of the best albums of 2005, I didn’t include Franz Ferdinand’s latest, You Could Have It So Much Better, because 1) I hadn’t heard it and 2) I didn’t really like the first album.

Sure, the single from the band’s debut had that scorching riff that alone justified people taking notice of the band, but the rest of that album didn’t do anything for me. Bland like a Kenny Chesney record….ok, maybe not that bland.

So I didn’t really seek out FF’s new one until it became available through the library. After listening to it today (actually I didn’t quite make it through all of it) I’m glad to say it didn’t end up on my list and shouldn’t have ended up on anyone’s top 10 list. Even though it sounds competent and may offer some highlights, the overall product is weak and just isn’t worthy of any praise. You Could Have It So Much Better is right; definitely a signal that the band isn’t going to be back on SNL any time soon.

Which leads me to my next point: Pitchfork: my, my how the mighty have fallen.

Pitchfork used to be one of my fave websites to read about music, but it’s quickly becoming a total fucking joke. I wrote, a couple years back, about how I liked Pitchfork, but some of their writer’s willingness to berate its audience left me cold. Go ahead and make fun of the people who don’t “get” what you’re doing. Heap piles of shit on to the people whose beliefs and interests are in conflict with your own. That’s fun. But don’t blast your readers in record reviews because you think you’re cooler than they are. It just smacks of being an insecure music dork that possesses no real power except when it comes to reviewing the new Jörstääd Wilköömen record. I made that name up because it sounds like some dumb Scandinavian techno bullshit Pitchfork would review.

But that was then, this is now. I remember Pitchfork giving a favorable, if not lukewarm review to this awful Franz Ferdinand record, but dissing the new Strokes record mainly because of its bad song titles. Now, I’m sure a lack of attention to something like a song title could spell bad things for a record. Look at anything Bon Jovi has done over the last 30 years, or Britney Spears In The Zone, but I question this in the Strokes case.

Beating up on the Strokes is easy. I would imagine bagging on the Strokes record would be like giving a bad review to the last Bin Laden/R Kelly video tape. It’s effortless and it’s what’s expected. You’re in the clear if you don’t like it.

But I don’t trust the opinions over at Pitchfork anymore. Sufjan Stevens was their number one album of 2005 for fuck’s sake. If that doesn’t say “too up-our-own-asses-to-think-straight,” I don’t know what does.

The Strokes record may be bad. It may be good. A good friend (of whose opinion I trust) said the first single was good. Regardless, there was a time that I took to heart what the reviewers at Pitchfork had to say. Not anymore.

For now on I will be applying the following formula when it comes to Pitchfork:

1) Band with too much hype + no backlash + lukewarm review= Bad album. Pitchfork reviewers can’t figure out if they will lose hipness points by giving a bad/good review.

2) Band with too much hype + lots of backlash + bad review= the album is probably pretty good because Pitchfork reviewers are trying to look jaded and above the rest of you plebeian assholes.

3) Band with too much hype (from hipster geeks) + no backlash (because nobody wants to hear it) + great review= total shit. These are music geek, elitist pricks with axes to grind. You don’t want to hear this crap. Please see Sufjan Stevens and Jörstääd Wilköömen for further enlightenment.

Yeah, I know I’ve been beating the Sufjan (and now Jörstääd) drum, but after that shit was proclaimed to be the best of 2005 by Pitchfork, I’ve been on a tear to make sure everyone knows the awful truth about Suckass and the ‘fork.

I’ll keep checking Pitchfork from time to time just to see what albums have been released because they are very current. But I really can’t suffer through another flowery review of some lame band with umlauts get the golden hand job while what maybe is a good record gets torn down because the indie rock equivalent of the Bush Administration keeps eating their own bullshit.

I’ll have mine with a side of rice please.

JR