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.