Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Coming Soon: Music for the Morons!!!

I'm turning this neglected, gaunt, and forgotten thing into a mixtape blog. Deal with it, fuckers.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I quizzed my pants

This Is My Life, Rated
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Monday, May 5, 2008

Kickin' Dirt In Your Face part ii.

Following my first excursion into trolling the underbelly of sports journalism I was dispatched to cover the reach-around on CCTV that is the Sports Emmy Awards.

I was unsure of the assignment from the jump and the dank, rainy weather coupled with the ceremony's location (Midtown) didn't exactly push me out the door. But a soldier must march and I am certainly considered front line material for such an assignment.

After my last (pssst! Look below) assignment I came to the conclusion that shaving was my best bet if I wanted to reap the benefits of PR benevolence. Clean-shaven I look like media jail bait
and I'll take any advantage I can get.

As I stood around waiting for the talking jocks to enter the networking/backscratching/sycophanting area (cocktail lounge) I kept myself busy snagging passed hors d'oeuvres and entertaining the smallish PR representative with my hilarious folksy ways.

As my restlessness grew, I strolled into the area designated for mingling and drinking. With newfound friend in tow we grabbed sodas and when my unsolicited chaperone was elsewhere I gulped down some cheap wine.


I jumped into line with the other media members as a smattering of former players and wishful former players stopped to chat with us lower-tier media members.

I was able to speak briefly with the Round Mound of Rebound, Charles Barkley, before he was scurried to the stage to present the night's first award. It was difficult to interview a boyhood idol but it could have gone much worse.

I was beckoned to the green room to watch the program on a monitor and interview winners during their trophy photograph set to the lovely Sports Emmy background: dream.come.true. Who doesn't want to chat up producers and cameramen?!

I was able to converse with Cris Collinsworth who turned out to be quite an intelligent man. We discussed what effects a U.S. boycott of the Beijing Olympics would have on the games and relations between the two nations. While I disagreed with some of Collinsworth's assertions (a nation shouldn't use the Olympics as a forum for protest) I was surprised he supported and advocated individuals using the games in such a fashion. We discussed the differences between prior Olympics* and the global communities' calls for boycotts and contrasted them with the Beijing controversy.

Cris was whisked away before I was able to discuss candidates grandstanding with calls for boycotting the Olympics or portions of the games. But I was able to listen to Sir Charles drop more knowledge on myself and the weirdos interviewing him alongside me.

(Note: One of the reporters actually looked like the pictured Laker, [is that Vlade Divac?] but with much less hair or jumping ability.)

Chuckster spoke more about politics (outsourcing of jobs and labor, immigration, classism, problems within the black community, etc.) than basketball which was interesting and still peppered with delicious quotables:

"I think gay people should be able to get married. I say that and they (never identified) try to get me fired. I tell them to kiss my ass."

When celebrities start spouting off about social or political issues, my eyes usually start circling, rolling, and/or squeezing in annoyance and disgust. But when a celebrity has his (or her) mind right and isn't simply squawking and sounding off with little to no authority or expertise on a subject other than notoriety, but because said person KNOWS THE SUBJECT, it's refreshing***.

Charles Barkley and Cris Collinsworth are knowledgeable people. They seek to attain knowledge on a topic and don't (as far as I know) present themselves as experts when they're not.

I'm not here to present these two men as idols other than models for trading cards to be attached to bike wheels for the purpose of "clickety-click" sound production. But I left my conversations with these men with a newfound respect for their intellects and classiness.

If only they can keep the coatcheck line (40 minutes waiting for my jacket?!) in order I'd certainly attend the 30th Annual Sports Emmy Awards if invited. I gotta bring a camera, though.

*I managed to spill a glass of wine on a woman descending the stairs a few strides behind me at this juncture, too. Smooth.
**Full disclosure: I totally flubbed a historical reference and somehow overlooked/forgot in the heat of the moment (haha-that sounds so sexual) that the U.S. actually participated in the Berlin Games. All apologies to Jesse Owens and the other courageous men and women who participated. What was I thinking? Apparently not too much.

***Funny how Mystic River featured my examples (save for Sarandon) from both camps of outspoken celebrities.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kickin' Dirt In Your Face part i.

I'm inching closer to that coveted title of "writer-employed." I've now covered two events for New York Magazine and I gotta admit, I had a lot of fun. Friday was my first foray and I found myself in Midtown for ESPN the Magazine's Draft Party.

I left the evening with a newfound respect for David Banner's politics and his ability to lose a ridiculous amount of weight in a short amount of time.


Mind you he wasn't shirtless at the event (nor did he have facial hair--the man shaved!) but I wanted to illustrate the "transformation." There was some serious broing out in regard to a mutual love and respect for greasy southern cuisine.

This short Jewish cat next to me kept asking me who every rapper and athlete was at the party which got a little old; but can you blame him? He was entertainment, or something, the sports guy just threw him the story that afternoon, apparently. So I gave the little bugger some slack.

Mike Jones also lost a great deal of weight which was shocking but somehow less interesting. The guy did hug me though, thus bequeathing me even more street credibility, if you can imagine that.

Other highlights: chatting about basketball with Sports History God the Schwab. He picked the Suns to win the championship this year...I guess no god is infallible. This wild-eyed black kid shouting "Hey Ashton! Ashton Kutcher!" at me for a good thirty minutes straight. Chatting up women at the event with the intent of trying to sex as many football players as possible. Watch out, dudes!

To close the night out I tried selling my V.I.P. pass to some asshole waiting in line outside in the rain but he and his friends just gave me a blank stare.

Another day, I suppose.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Oh, James, How Could I Have Forgotten You?

I stumbled upon this video earlier today of Clint Ruin a.k.a. Foetus a.k.a. J.G. Thirwell and I was ashamed at how long it's been since I've sat down and listened to some of the man's work. Fucking incredible musician who's been churning out the "hits" for nearly thirty years now--amazing.

To give you some more context, this is a video of Soft Cell covering the Suicide (the band, not the act) song "Ghostrider" with Thirwell, during his Clint Ruin years, hopping in to provide some spine tingling guest vocals. The man is a howler and I mean that as the ultimate compliment. Enjoy.

Addendum: Clint Ruin/Thirwell is one of a select few able to get away with wearing sunglasses at night or indoors. That boy is BAD! End mancrush.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Regurgitate your ingested "musings" elsewhere

I attended an opening last night for this guy and while I certainly wasn't repulsed, annoyed, or irked by his work, his fans, or art fans in general, I can't say the same.

Every comment I eavesdropped sounded like the same generic bullshit I've seen and heard swallowed and purged as individual cognition.

"Do these assholes even know what they're saying/think?" I'd find myself thinking to myself. That isn't meant to be an indictment of their grasp of the piece and its paling in comparison to my own, but in fact an actual question. So often I notice people espousing word strings being masqueraded as original thought when in fact it's something the speaker read or overheard.

Art and creative exhibitions as a circle jerk exercise (redundant?) are not for me. Oh, you with the ironic outfit, can you choose somewhere to have your discussion on the night's activities somewhere other than DIRECTLY in front of the piece I'm trying to look at? Thanks. Nice mustache, asshole.

The night wasn't all douchebags worthy of a fist flurry (to the face for boys and the agina for the girls) for their artistic pretensions. I also got to hang out in the company of CD Djs!!!

Let me preface/soften this section by saying that I'm sure there's some skill and a general degree of difficulty to overcome in the world of compact dics jockeying. However, that being said, shut the fuck up. Chances are you're a glorified button pusher and what you do isn't important, interesting, worthy of any acclaim you might reap. I'm all for having fun, playing/listening to music, dancing--but you're not a DJ.

I don't feel like harping on these subjects of societal dregs (fake-DJs, party photographers, underground socialites) any longer. Listen to Leviathan's last (and by last I mean most recent AND final) album and enjoy the hate. It's super fun playing air drums to "Sacred Scars."

Random note: I just found a gray hair--fuck life.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I was just let in on another secret of the internet: Muxtape. Create, upload, and have your own mp3 mixtape, sorry, MUXTAPE hosted. You're only allotted 12 songs which kinda sucks, but that's nitpicking on my end. Great concept and I am sure it will be shut down soon once L33T H4X0RZ (I don't know if that's even funny anymore) find a way to download the hosted mp3s and Metallica or U2 end up on a muxtape.

Mine is pretty raging and total pissed off hardcore/punk/metal goofiness. You'll enjoy it if you've got these.

If not, make your own.

Keeping with the "theme"...

Mishka, you've done it again. But fix your Doombox, it's fucking terrible. Bring back fun stuff and leave the nu-rave for the other dudes.

Goodnight all, time to fall asleep to nicotine withdrawals

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Get your metal gear, it's headbanging time

I weaseled my way into a concert tonight after taking part in a few open call interviews for jobs I wouldn't want in high school, and the same goes nearly ten years later.

I actually completed an interview for a position within Dialogue Direct's "Street Team" (my wording, not theirs) to pester New Yorkers on the street in some feeble attempt to badger them into donating money to a good (assumption) cause: Children.


The other interviews were for restaurants, but what struck was that the female interviewer was likely pushing fifty and absolutely rocking a nose ring. The fuck? I'd go on, but I think I just jinxed myself out of the running for that job. Then again, if that's the case, I'll proceed.

Nose rings are pretty terrible for men and women of any age; isn't a person supposed to realize as they grow older that trends don't last because they lean toward the moronic to begin with?*

But that isn't where the day got interesting, come to think of it the day never DID get interesting, activities simply developed/appeared.

A quick rundown of the day's highlights and lowlights before I pass out and strip this entry of what little cohesion and direction it possessed already:

  • $2 margaritas? In New York? You bet! And if you show up at the right time, they'll let you make your own BEHIND THE BAR. Feel free to stiff yourself on the tip--you didn't earn it.
  • Tecmo Superbowl is back with a snowed-out (in appearance--remember when you tried watching scrambled porn? Add some controllers.) vengeance. If you're unfamiliar with this game, then fuck you. Bo Jackson is the truth and a beast.
  • Entirely too much pizza, how do the Italians do it? Give me a fucking burrito, I want to shove pizza up my ass. Why? I have no fucking idea, I'm just tired of eating it.
  • The favorite part of any day for me is really when I get to surprise my girlfriend by dropping in on her at home and sharing some cuddling, eskimo kisses, baby talk, and then trying to convince her to let me penetrate newfound orifices. SO CLOSE!
After alllll this** I proceeded to the rock show.

In retrospect I'm glad I didn't pay $16. I missed half of the show and of the halve I witnessed you could lop off another half to keep the just the tasty parts.

Red Chord-Boring, sloppy, and derivative. Who would strive for a trifecta of this nature? If you're going to be sloppy be interesting, the same can be said for derivative sounds.

Genghis Tron-I was trying to get laid.

Baroness-Look up. I heard I didn't miss anything.

Converge-Unless you're not a fan, then you know they were great. A little sloppy*** to start but it was to be expected seeing as this was the opening night of the tour. After the rust was shaken, the shred was on in full force and I even got to partake in some moderate headbanging--which I always enjoy. The kids were going bonkers and I swear some bird who crowd surfed her way to the front was gonna try to instigate onstage bukakke on herself had security not grabbed her. She had the rape eyes, for sure.

All in all a good night. Someone take me bowling this weekend and someone else do my taxes. Hooray!

*Fuck your highwaisted jeans/pants. You look dumb, frumpy, and ridiculous. Errr...oops.
***For the record, I LOVE sloppiness, overly precise music or vessels of expression as a whole (haha, I suck) seem inhuman to me without the occasional human error. Organic is good. I have a problem with it when the sloppiness detracts from the overall presentation.

Monday, March 31, 2008

How 'bout that March?!

Sorry readers but it's been a bit of a hectic month for your favorite antagonist. I've been fired, mugged, and aged since our paths last crossed. Let's begin at the beginning, eh?

I was fired for allowing a co-worker to fool around on my server number (the code an employee used to sign into the server to tally up orders) and as a result I was shit-canned. Could have been worse, they coulda beat me up. Wait, they left that to four kids from my neighborhood!

The following Monday I had stopped back in at my now-former job to grovel for my shitty, mediocre-paying serving job from the queen who had been all-too-happy to give me the ax that prior Saturday. After being told to return the following day I exited my bygone diner of dreams and shuffled into the C train back to Brooklyn. The only problem was that some young'ins wanted to slow my trip home a bit by tackling me and taking whatever belongings they could snatch out of my pockets: not much.

Somehow, the police were able to retrieve my iPod and capture one of my attackers; alas the same couldn't be said for my beloved teal Banana Republic wallet that I fear I will never be able to replace.

Theft robs you of more than the physical people!*

The annoying fallout of this debacle wasn't so much the loss of property (don't get me wrong, it sucked) was the dealings with police and the District Attorney's Office. I had the police (initially unbeknownst to me and subsequently unwillingly) parading me around my neighborhood where these cats roam and I'm typically averse to making myself known as being in bed with the police. I never outgrew my punk records, I suppose.

These dipshits were driving me around in what was an obvious unmarked car in broad daylight to try to make a positive ID on the kids that jumped me FROM BEHIND. The only positive identification that was transpiring was of me as not only the Token White in the area but also as the incandescent neighbor who's in bed with police. That goes over swimmingly in a "strong heroin and crack presence with frequent robberies"-type neighborhood as the police who drove me home the night of the incident described my street.

But wait, THERE'S MORE!!!

The youngster they captured was repeatedly shown my face in close proximity, occasionally without my knowledge and at the police precinct. How about you guys give them a copy of my house key next time? Can I count that as a tax write-off if "hoodlums" use my laptop to make shitty Flo-Rida-derivative beats on my stolen laptop? What about royalties? Fuck it.

The most abhorrent behavior I encountered occurred at the court room, however. I was coaxed into spending an entire day waiting to give five minutes of slanted and misleading Grand Jury testimony. It was disgusting the way this Assistant D.A. was maneuvering in an attempt to get the best testimony out of me. Vile creature he was, even after admitting earlier in the day he thought there wasn't a case to be made. We all have to swallow our pride and our ethics to a certain degree at times to put food on the table; I'm a realist and I will concede that to myself and others, but this was egregious. Pulling out all the stops on a 15-year-old** first-time offender makes you a despicable person and it makes me glad I made jokes during my testimony to undermine the entire affair.

But it hasn't been all misery and loss...

I also got to ride a bull! Fun night for sure filled with surprise visitors, copious amounts of whiskey, new friends, and ridiculously drunken karaoke...even by drunken karaoke standards of inebriation.

So, now I've been kicked out of the 18-24 party and thrust into the immediately lamer and inferior in the eyes of advertisers 25-30/35 demographic which hurts a little to be honest. The 18-24 group has ALL the cool birthdays unless you're a girl*** stuck in the Eisenhower years or you're a Jew and, well, we disregard them here.

  • Fuck, I can't wait until I'm able to rent a car!
  • The wisdom gleaned from navigating through my twenties is invaluable. I'm glad that time is done and I can now enjoy adulthood.
  • Every birthday is another year closer to attaining my goal APR!
No one says these things honestly. These are statements made by folks in denial. No one sits at home when they're grounded and 15 thinking to themselves, "I can't wait until my late twenties so I can be expected to make sound decisions all the time while being burdened with these same expectations (as well as my own) every day!" Fuck that! When you're fifteen, all you want is to be 21 so you can be getting drunk, fucking chicks (or dudes), ad partying with no one (at least in your adolescent mind) telling you different.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not some douche on my way to finance a Camaro I can't afford and a blond I can't satisfy.**** But for whatever silly reason, be it self-imagined or inflicted on me by popular culture and the media that mirrors, creates, and magnetizes it, I feel like the jump from 24 to 25 has been a much longer motion than my last step forward. But that's all I have for you at the moment, but it's probably more than you needed. I'll try to douse you in posts this upcoming month. Then again, it is the first of the month.

*I'm just fucking with you, only pussies say that. You're not pussy, arrreee youuuu?
**Shut up, they had an aggregate age of sixty. Wait, fuck! Let me rephrase that, it was like a four hundred pound 15-year-old with freakish athleticism attacked me.
***To spoil any eurocentric accusations I will mention Quinceanera and in the interest of mutual inclusion I will proclaim them lame too.
****The latter is impossible, anyway.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I am now a member of the homosexual community!!!

An honorary member, at least. The wonderful part is that I didn't have to sacrifice my anal virginity, penetrate a twink, or become a post-op thus making my flannel apparel even more appropriate. I do have nice cheeks bones though, so the latter isn't an impossible idea.

Nope, I'm the new Art Intern (capitalization for emphasizing my deluded sense of importance) at Out Magazine and with that new position in life as a passenger in the Out vehicle, otherwise known as "The Great Gay Hope," I can make a difference for "culture"-obsessed members of the global LGBT community.

The silver lining is that I can now make any gay joke with impunity; it's fab-u-lous! I feel like the character on Seinfeld who converted to Judaism for the Jewish jokes. Speaking of which, is there an interview process when you want to be a Jew? There really should be.

I've only been at my post for two days now, which have been spent primarily acclimating myself and doing small odd jobs (NOT blow jobs) related to design and research. There have been a few highlights, however:

-A research session in which I was assigned to find concubine-related photos, only to end up drooling over photos of nude Czech prostitutes in a shower (No, really! Follow the link, but it is NOT work safe* Titties!).

-One of my bosses appearing on the verge of climaxing in his pants as a group of us viewed some photos for the May issue. Truth be told, the gentlemen modeling for the shoot were quite good-looking** but c'mon, dude--they weren't that hot. Now I get horny--a lot, but I can at least contain myself in a group setting, especially one that takes place at work and even more so on an occasion in which there's a new-hire. Cool your jets, bro.

-I suppose that's really all the humor I've witnessed or been a part of other than the occasional cattiness between some co-workers (none directed at me--yet) I've observed and the seldom flirting heaved in my direction which I've been told is customary of their tribe.

It's pretty interesting, I must say, to be in such a pronounced and unapologetically homosexual environment. I don't really notice many differences from a "normal office" in interaction between colleagues other than the total dearth of sports conversation, but that's not necessarily relegated solely to "gay offices" I would assume. I'll have to be diligent with my morning cup of coffee so I can continue satisfying my bosses (no homo***) all while keeping an eye and an ear to the interactions I am a captive audience to.

I like the place, I really do. That might change, however, seeing as I'm only two days into my Out tour of duty, but I don't foresee my opinion souring. At this juncture, while it's an office, staffed with roughly 95% homosexuals workers, it's certainly not a gay, gay office.

Oh, here's a list of some blogs I've been enjoying lately. Some are recent discoveries, others are old favorites I hope to encourage my readership
to check out:

Basketbawful...this guy is hilarious and quite an acerbic writer on all things hoops. Be sure to check out the basketball dictionary if for nothing else. Very creative.

Free Darko...Bethlehelm Shoals is probably the best of the troop, but they're all at the very least solid and entertaining. Very humorous, insightful, dare I say cerebral, writing with the umbrella of basketball but frequently focusing on the effects of basketball on pop culture and vice-versa.

True Hoop...Henry Abbott's True Hoop column is considered the benchmark, the apex, and the granddaddy to all basketball (and perhaps all sports for that matter) blogs. That being said all praise and accolades bestowed upon Abbott are well-deserved and quite frankly, the man should get more praise for his tireless coverage of all things basketball. His ongoing coverage and analysis of topics like William "Uncle Wes" Wesley's seemingly ubiquitous presence within the world of basketball and his serial piece on NBA referee Bennett Salvatore are fine examples of how the man is not simply a comber of the internet, but an incredibly versatile journalist with a great head on his shoulders and the ability to see angles I can only dream to recognize.

White Whine...heed the second "h" in that title. I'm not transforming into some urbane asshole attempting to steer my friends into an epicure's realm of bourgeois-iniquity. This is a segment for the sea of people (I don't see color) like myself who, like myself, find themselves tickled pink when they can laugh at white folk. It should be noted, most of the "whines" are submitted by the very same self-aware pricks**** whom feel that through participation they're no longer members of this repugnant group under the derisive magnifying glass. Even so, I still like to pretend these are overheard mutterings from a spoiled and obnoxious segment of society.

Speaking of white guilt...Stuff White People Like...The same idea basically as "White Whine" only with more breadth and the appearance of pseudo-scientific (think National Geographic's exploratory team going to Crate and Barrel instead of Sudan) research.

To bring it full-circle I will link you to a blog I've (along with you, that is, if you exist) heard about for some time but finally got around to checking out today. The Assimilated Negro. Don't worry, you're/we're not that white person.

*Didn't say it wasn't Out safe.
*That's straight speak, not straight talk; for if I was a chick, a gay dude, or if I was really, really drunk and no one would/could find out and he was nice and we were the last people on Earth, I'd do him.
***C'mon, HAD to get at least one in there.
****Full disclosure: I flipped out while creating this entry because I was running too many programs on my laptop (iTunes, Quicktime, Azureus, Firefox, DLing files, Photobooth, iChat, and Word to be exact) and the god damn thing froze.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I got this idea from on 205th, actually I'm just stealing the videos the guy (I assume only a male would take the time to do this) posted and adding my own brief annotations for your enjoyment.

First, the "professionals":

Everyone, and by everyone I mean all members of the Portland Trailblazers organization, loves to rattle on and on about Travis Outlaw's "upside." Perhaps someday this dunk will be completed with the desired effect.

I'll admit it, I'm biased here: I hate Tony Parker. But c'mon, a breakaway and this is all you can muster? You're 25, dude, no excuse for a "power outage." Watch near the end as Tony P poorly feigns injury to save face.

HELLA-COPTAH!!! Who would have thought that Madison Square Garden security would allow anti-aircraft firearms into the building. Poor Qyntel.


Sorry, dude. You're not Dwight Howard, you're not even on par with Nate Robinson. I've made a concerted effort to be nicer but I don't think this guy could dunk over an ottoman, let alone a human.

Rising Stars:

I really have little snarky to say here other than, shitty luck, dude.

Transition D doesn't kill the fast break, it just paralyzes it. Respect to the old man for screaming for an ejection. Comedy for some reason.

If Harmony Korine is looking to film Gummo II, he should look these dudes up.

Nothing better than a couple of your buds watch you approach death.

Box to kid: Later, Dude!

The best part of this video is not only tht an occurrence like this could take place, but the dark, malevolent laughter of the filmer. It HAD to belong to the older brother. Judging by the kid's anguished, girlish screams and his friends' ambivalence, I assume the dunker (dunkee?) frequently finds himself in similar situations.

This is how a video for a painfully executed mis-dunk should be carried out. Great editing, various speeds, development of suspense. Nice work, Chit86! And to the dunker, aim low

That Gino the Ginny kid should have a talk with this fat dude about the perils of dunking in sweaters. On second thought, the fat man may not be Italian. Regardless, sweater dunks?

The crowd goes wild as one man remains somber. Can you guess who? Sidenote: kinda sad that a group this size would congregate for something as banal as a dunk; then again it's Montana.

Are you serious???

This is apparently a video "accidentally" leaked to the same pirates the RIAA is trying to weed out. If this is the crack team the RIAA and the National District Attorneys Association is unfurling then intellectual and creative property advocates should be worried.

Crack being hidden in CDs? Perhaps my source mislabeled or misinterpreted the information they happened upon, maybe the RIAA and NDAA are this clueless, either way this video is quite humorous.

I'm reminded of my early childhood when Acid Madness reached the parents' ears of the Southwest and everyone from my mother, to my nosy neighbor, to the recess monitor hammered home the point that if you discover a stamp," Don't lick it--IT COULD BE L-S-D!!!"

I think that old man simply doesn't understand the lyrical nuances of an emcee like Juelz Santana and the rest of the Dipset Crew.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

They're still mad at Clemens in Red Sox Nation

Stephen F. Lynch, what are YOU, and the rest of Congress doing with this hearing? Aren't there an infinite number of more important issues and problems to be tackling with such fervor?

As an obsessive sports fan I want to know who did what, who cheated, who didn't. But at what cost? I'm not the first to cry out at the foolishness of this grandtsanding on the part of our legislative branch and I hope I won't be the last; how many times do we need to hear Tom Davis refer to Clemens' "buttocks"?

How about that Brian McNamee? I try not to judge people and ethical potential based on their appearance, but this guy sure looks wormy and mole-like, doesn't he? Sorry to mix of animal comparisons, but the guy just looks shady. Lay off the pomade and try to avoid your darting your eyes when you make strong statements. Stuttering is also a poor choice of prosody.

Wait, Henry A. Waxman's visage resembles a mole moreso than McNamee's so McNamee's face will be relegated to worm and sloth.

Paul E. Kanjorski appears as though he is on his deathbed, ack! This variety show of a hearing is turning me into a perez hilton-esque blogger. Get me the fuck outta here.

Can I get a jihad?

Monday, February 11, 2008

A sign of the end times (musically-speaking)?

From today's New York Post, available here

That reality* is causing record companies to reassess just what constitutes a hit - and spawning questions to which labels haven't yet found a set answer.

"The thing that becomes challenging is: how much should you spend?" said Paul Burgess, executive VP at TVT Records, home to rappers Pitbull and Lil' Jon.

"Do you need to record 20 tracks? Should you be investing enormous amount of money on the marketing? Ultimately we make most of our money from breaking artists, and not songs."

*For better context, the reality being referred to are the drastically sinking album sales in the music industry.

Man, record execs are finally admitting that they churn out one/two-hit ponies. The catalyst being the people are finally catching on to this and not purchasing the entire album but the song(s) of their choice in mp3 or ring tone format. This is mutually damning for both parties (record labels and music consumers), in a holier-than-thou fashion, of course.

First, the music business scum with their abhorrent ability to commodify and duplicate ad nauseam trends and movements within music until all genuine creativity has been sapped. They're eating crow now as they are (seemingly) admitting that all of their focus has been on encouraging artists to hone their marketability instead of their craft (if they had a craft to begin with is unbeknownst to me) and are being sent back to the drawing board, heads down and ashamed.

Second, the general music (at least music-al fans, not to be confused with musical fans) enjoying public is admitting it can only enjoy music in short bursts. The general listening public is disinterested in musical craftsmanship and the development of an idea or sound across an album. The album is dying a simultaneously slow and quick death. And why wouldn't it?

Most albums (this goes for you too, so-called indie labels) seem to have a handful of redeeming songs and mess of filler. The average listener will break out the music sieve and let those crummy songs go by the wayside and only have the gems left. But why should the consumer purchase an $18.00 CD when the one or two enjoyable songs can be downloaded for 99 cents or, better yet, free? It's a no-brainer!

Ultimately I really don't care, while I'm not a "I'll pick up the single"-guy, I'm also not the music-crazed person I was 5 years ago. I'm not sure if it's me or the music, but most of this shit sucks and they can charge or not charge all they like; I'll keep my oldies and I'm content with being that guy. Somebody's gotta do it, right?


Monday, February 4, 2008

This is how a shitty job is shoved back up your ass.

I've quit before: jobs, relationships, school, etc. But it's been some time since the ending of a relationship of any sort has been initiated by the other side of an association.

I was left flabbergasted and mouth agape as my boss told me over the phone that my services would not be needed for a few weeks and that it "would be a good idea to look for a new job" as I stood shivering in this New York winter. Good thing I hadn't bought those plane tickets I was contemplating or made any other exorbitant purchases.

So here I am back at square one (really square 0.5--I didn't trade time zones to continue waiting tables) looking for a job that challenges me and interests me; the difference being I don't have the luxury of ANY job. I have no income save for my two meager paychecks that remain to be collected/paid.

What's an unskilled college graduate to do?!

Starting today, I hit the job market with an unparalleled (when measured against my prior standards and levels of dedication to the job hunt) drive to hunt down a job. Not necessarily the job, in that it's my dream job, I don't plan on finding that for some time. How could I realistically, at that? I'm at such a precarious position right now with trying to find my way and my niche, I likely wouldn't be able to identify it, let alone be prepared for said occupation.

The hard part I've found is overtaking the hurdles I've encountered seemingly every leg of this race toward the pretty finish line where all the happy and financially secure professionals and semi-professionals reside:*

-Little to no actual published work/experience at an actual paper.
-Little to no experience with programs and tools necessary for online editions of media

I thought there'd be more when this piece came to mind but those are the only stumbling blocks I've encountered. Which, in my estimation, amount to little. Those are both easily nullified deficiencies with a willingness to allow on-site learning coupled with an eagerness to master said deficiencies. But before I let this piece devolve even more so into a spiral of self-pity and bitching, I'll proceed to my point and ruminations.

As (hopefully) evident in my brief spot regarding my deficiencies, the current world of journalism, and media as a collective, is moving frantically toward an internet-centric format. With these ideologic (timeliness > factuality), resource-related (tech-focused materials), and personnel (smaller, less specialized staffs) shifts rapidly approaching and occurring every day, what is to happen to the media?

I am usually opposed to specialization in most cases. This practice in business usually leads to industry crippling inabilities for self-reliance. Niches are OK when
it comes to music and the arts--but not business. If you're only able to perform one highly specialized task, chances are you're not really valuable as an employee and rightfully so.

But the media I believe exists at a nebulous spot between art and business. It's certainly a business, and it inches closer to that side of the relationship daily**. But the artistry inherent to journalism (especially print) is what keeps it, for the time being, from shifting all the way over to the business side of things and relatively connected to the arts. This connection, albeit a loose one, is why I still maintain that specialization (not an egregious, factory line-esque sort) within the field of journalism and media is still important and vital for its future.

Do you want a page designer/layout expert as your editor-in-chief? Do you want your arts person covering sports (or vice-versa***)? Should the reporter in charge of public affairs be the food critic? While I'm well aware that an of these people could ostensibly complete the fictional requirements mentioned, it also doesn't make sense to make things more difficult than they need be or square peg a round hole. Assign the right task to the right person. Watch how things run more productively and with superior results.

Now I know this is all hypothetical and that a reason for much of this job condensing is shrinking budgets. But there are different, more proactive methods to account for fewer bucks in the bank than forcing someone to undertake a task they're not fit to tackle in the first place.

It's a slap to the face of the profession and art of journalism AND the population its (we're) supposed to be informing and protecting.

*I know that was redundant; but it looks and sounds nice if you don't think about the redundancy, so shut up and enjoy my mediocre metaphor.
**The same can be said for music and many other artist movements.
***I was the sports guy covering the Arts Beat at the last place I worked at. Never judge a book by its cover, right? Moppy hair and snug clothing=/=arts-y.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Quick thought on the passing of the guards

IS it just me or does Bush seem like he is undergoing a presidential moment of lucidity? It's like the guy just realized that there's a strong chance he will go down as one of the worst presidents of recent U.S. history (which, by the way, is all the history we have as a nation: recent) and he's hoping that some end-of-term motions aimed at appearing as though he gave a fuck about any section of the U.S. population aside from his wealthy oil buddies will strike this from the memory of the history book writers and the population as a whole? It's like the asshole who shoots himself in the foot through an entire date being unfunny, uninteresting, classless and a general buffoon devoid of charm, then expects pussy or a second date because he opened the car door for his date. Good luck, dude, but it's not gonna happen.

I for one will remember an eight year span where the world grew to hate the United States more than ever. Chris Rock may be right, to a certain extent, that "everyone hates a winner" but no one likes a graceless winner. We are reaping the fruits of this shortsightedness.

The economy went into the toilet to levels that I cannot recall* and there doesn't seem to be even a dim light on the horizon for a new day to be approaching. This "dynasty" appears on a steep decline.

The divide between "red" and "blue" states seems even more disparate than it did nearly 10 years ago. What should have been a unifying and galvanizing time of realignment devolved into a cultural civil war, of sorts. Will and Grace fans v. Jeff Foxworthy-vehicle fans. Guys, both those shows suck, can't you at least get along based on the fact that your collective taste in entertainment sucks? Everyone wants to eat, shit, fuck, and sleep--why get in the way?

The man will be leaving the country in worse shape than when he found it. Nice job, dick. I have to head to work, but read the article and tell me what you think.

I'm not going to pretend as though I am, or ever have been, a finance/economy savant. I DO, however, have eyes and I can see that jobs are being outsourced at a ridiculous pace, the value of the USD is shrinking exponentially, and people are losing their homes. Even the Federal Reserve is essentially throwing up a white flag. Writing's on the walls and there's more than smoke here--we might just be fucked, after all.

An unraveling psyche

Where to start? I realize now, more than ever, if I want to accomplish something (disambiguation will come later...maybe), I need to take a chance. I'm not too worried about rolling a 1-2-3 as much as I'm worried I'm playing the wrong game. Do I have enough dice? Am I rolling out-of-order? Do I even know the game I'm playing? Fuck.

My dwindling delusions of grandeur withstanding, I still believe I can do something(s) I'm proud of. I don't have to be stuck in some shit job that I hate, I took the first step in getting out of the warm, protective embrace of my origin, but where do I go from here? It seems as though my first step wasn't calculated effectively and I'm mired seemingly a step behind where I'd hoped and envisioned I'd be. I was overly arrogant in my estimation of what would be expected of me and now I'm stuck with the penance of slaving away at some pretentious restaurant--exactly where I was 2500 miles ago.

I like to think I'm a survivor; I can live off nothing, I can get by with no one and nothing backing me, but is this belief based in reality? I find beauty in struggle, there's nothing honorable (loaded word alert!) in gifts* or nepotism in its numerous manifestations. I'm all for hustling and making it by my own means and rules or standards. If I have to live in squalor and mediocrity at the expense of never subjecting myself to something I wouldn't mention in a memoir (hypothetical scenario, I'm not so self-aggrandizing enough to reasonably think I will warrant a memoir).

I'm not sucking any cock to make it to the top, sorry. In the interest of full-disclosure, I probably wouldn't be that good anyhow--ask my girlfriend about my oral sex skills.

But what can an aging hipster (why lie?) do to secure a future of greater heights than being that scummy asshole bragging about how he saw X Artist that received posthumous revival in interest from music/art fans to annoyed and disinterested youths? That shit ain't for me. But is it fate--and if so, can you dodge fate? I'm a cusp, so I'm gonna bank on that. Wish me well reader.

*Anyone reading may feel free to donate money to the author's plight.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Not exactly what Rakim had in mind

"It ain't where ya from, it's where ya at." Probably the most recited and famous of all Rakim lyrics; its meaning is one I certainly advocate, but since my migration east to New York I've noticed a differing interpretation of Rakim's intent when he urged (in my estimation) listeners to progress as people and not grow stuck in old routines/lifestyles--you're not defined solely on your history, at least you shouldn't be.

For me, that transcendent line was a proposed mission statement. You needn't exist in a stagnant cycle, you can be dynamic, you can grow; its possible to make a better situation for yourself and, ideally, for those around you.

The unfortunate change in interpretation I've observed is that many of my contemporaries (not referring to bloggers, by the way) in New York seem hell bent on contorting this message into one of forgetting your roots. Whenever I stumble into some usually awkward social interaction with New York transplants, they seem all-too-eager to forget and disavow their history and past. It's as if all of their life's journeys, events, and lessons learned never happened.

They've opted for a clean record and while it's unlikely that this metaphorically bankrupt person will be scorned for starting fresh like your friend who never paid a single credit card bill for four years, they too should be subject to the same wary eye.

How genuine can a person be if they are so inclined to actively erase everything up to that point where they decided,"I'm meant to be in____!" I've surmised it's usually seasoned, to varying degrees, with delusions of grandeur, depending on the individual. It all smacks of pretension to me which usually is rooted in insecurity (pop psychology alert!). But just like how if I were pondering renting an apartment to someone with a credit score in the single digits, a person with a pronounced unwillingness to acknowledge where he or she comes from evokes a great sens of discomfort for me. What do they have to hide?

This is simply an exposition of sorts; if I get off my lazy ass I plan on investigating this further to the best of my ability. I obviously can't reach the entire demographic of 20-30-year-old transplants living within this city. But Yahweh willing, I'll find them/you.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Federal Reserve Chairman Downsizes the "Three Needs of Man" to Food and Clothing

Federal Reserve chairman Ben S. Bernanke cited findings that supported his belief that access to a domicile was "not crucial to survival."

"I was driving home some time ago when I noticed what appeared to be a camp site on the side of the road," Bernanke said, continuing, "I'd made it a short day seeing as it was a Friday and I wasn't expected home for a few hours so I pulled over to inspect this bizarre settlement that had recently popped up and blemished my otherwise pleasant view for the drive home."

"'What's the meaning of this?' I queried the African-American male," Bernanke told reporters. "This man went on to tell me how he and his family had been 'duped'--his words, not mine--into taking out a mortgage for his family's first home with back loaded interest rates and hidden fees he hadn't been alerted to by the creditor. After a year or so, his family ended up homeless, but from what I could see the man and his family certainly weren't in dire straits. They had access to running water from the Applebee's across the street, not to mention delicious handouts, errr...treats, from the generous employees of another fine American eatery: Applebee's. I felt it a bit superfluous after assessing their current state, but for the sake of the country I felt it necessary to reaffirm the president's vested interest in their future and that he's hard at work to make their 'good life, a great one,'" Bernanke concluded.

"It is after my meeting with this courageous family that I am making a push to have 'shelter' eliminated from the Three Needs of Man," Bernanke declared.

"'Shelter' always felt a bit tacked on to me," Bernanke said. "This way, 'the Needs' will be easier to remember for the real treasure--our children," Bernanke said.

In all seriousness, and all Onion-jocking aside, Bernanke REALLY did say in the face of our economy's continued dip closer and closer to recession levels that our economy was "extraordinarily resilient." What type of insight, words of encouragement is that?

I don't know if Bernanke is aware of this but the U.S. dollar is worth only two more cents than the Canadian dollar? When I was in Canada last, five years ago, the Canadian dollar was worth about 3/4 of the U.S. dollar. It was maddening, I was selling t-shirts, CDs, and LPs for a band and it was so irksome to figure out the conversion rate swiftly. That's a bit of a white lie, it was mostly due to laziness and my hatred for all the change in Canadian currency ("Loonies" and "Twonies"?), but that's the past, right now we're in danger of being referred to as Canada, jr.

Do you, my fellow Americans, want to see goofy ass Canadians making jokes about our culture and status in the world? I've grown accustomed to having a place as the giant in the marketplace and I don't need any hockey-loving, maple syrup-slurping, egregious amount of flannel-wearing Canucks pushing me around.

I could swallow it when the Euro dominated the dollar in value, I don't have to deal with Europeans that often. In addition to that, I always have the fall back ace up the sleeve of their hideous 1980s tracksuits to mock them derisively and the bizarre penchant for fashion mullets within their as a trump for any goof ball, quasi-nationalistic argument of "my country > your country."

But CANADA?! They're so close; and with rapidly improving accent-hiding techniques, they can slip into your life undetected.

Hopefully those in charge for now can right this slap to the face of the collective America and we'll be the Teddy Roosevelt's of the global economy once again. Make that Teddy R. after some fine scotch.

"Shriek belligerently and wave your big dick."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Extra! Extra! Read None of It!

Another shortcoming of our society at-large when it comes to language is the heavy reliance on a thesaurus to add color and/or learn more words. The negligence and lack of effort or logic (should one really surmise that an accurate definition of a word can be gained from one simple like word? That is ridiculously stupid) in this practice baffles and saddens me. Sadden might be too strong of a word, but it certainly leaves me with little hope for my world's future.

Insipid does not equal watery, they're similar if the intent is accurate, but chances are you'll look dim if you substitute watery for insipid.

Well, I'm off to forget more words. Bender time. Tell my mom and her sisters I love myself if I don't make it back alive.

There's a spider on your ceiling...

Something you may or may not know about me (I'll answer this for you, it's the latter) is that I help pay for websites like How do I, a poorly paid server working in this megalopolis, (Brooklyn to be exact, my infamy will be forthcoming but for now I will be relatively forthright about the minutiae of me, numerous parentheses and ad nauseam rambling withstanding) pay for anything besides cigarettes, metrocards, whiskey, and beer? Food and rent are afterthoughts for your faithful servant: me.

Well, I'll tell you. I frequent these sites and in this day when the prospect of purchasing an item is somehow more valuable and desirable than an actual transaction my viewing of advertisements for "Ice skating in Orlando" (you read me) is worth more than my actual dropping of duckets to lace up a pair of ice skates and hit the rink to USA on Ice. But fear not readers (hi, mom and dad), this will not be some groan-inducing and banal retread of the same-ol' tired argument about the perils and looming destruction of Occidental culture at the hands of those no-goodniks in the advertising agencies of the world. That will be left to the pundits with more insight, knowledge and expertise in the field. It must be stated, however, I would be remiss and unscrupulous to not condemn the seeming stranglehold the commercial advertising world has on our collective consciousness and the dangerous power it wields in shaping, contorting and defining our world.

That being said, I liken the evils of advertising within the white collar/white male* arena of culture theft and destruction to the "made men" of mafia crime syndicates. As for who ("what?"-I refuse to recognize corporations as entities worthy of the rights afforded to humans, fuck off lobbyists) represents the Don or boss of this allegorical crime cartel, I, sadly, haven't given it enough thought.** But the hierarchy exists in my belief, but maybe I'm just too credulous. Which is what spurred this quasi-tractate in the first place.

As you might have deduced from my opening statements, I frequent online dictionary websites. I try to make a point to reinforce*** my knowledge of words from time-to-time as well as learn the occasional new word to vivify (I JUST did it) my language. These are the two primary reasons I make it a habit to regularly drop-in at the aforementioned websites; that and paper dictionaries are ridiculously expensive, not to mention their online siblings navigate much swifter.

Back to credulity, I was reading about that very word when I began thinking about the interesting way the two words and their respective changes of tense* (incredul[ous/ity] v. credul[ous/ity]) are not complementary or at least not dichotomous. For complete clarity I will include the dictionary definition of both.

incredulity-the quality or state of being incredulous; inability or unwillingness to believe.

credulity-willingness to believe or trust too readily, esp. without proper or adequate evidence; gullibility.

While these are static definitions that do not reflect the mutation of definitions through the different interpretations and usage (correctly or incorrectly), the origins are simply "skeptical" v. "naive." Which contradicts what the average person (the average nerd, actually) would assume when the formative "in" is employed. One need look no further that my parentheses three lines up to more clearly grasp my point: correct v. incorrect=right v. not right. But why do the denotations of credulity and incredulity deviate from this formula?

I do not have access to a dictionary that offers much in the way of these two words' etymologies to see if they arrived at their perceived dichotomous relationship serendipitously--as two similar words that through current affairs and various interpretations of two relatively linked words became, typographically at least, connected--or if these two words have been linked as gullible v. suspicious from the beginning.

I suppose my curiosity with the words stems from my view of their relationship as being grayer than most "in/un-" formative couplings. The relationship dynamic between "correct" and "incorrect" is much easier to observe than that of the "credulity" and "incredulity" marriage. Right and wrong (barring moral and ethical issues, I'm speaking superficially) is much easier to define or identify than the states of naivete and skepticism and the relationship therein.

Which I suppose a victory unto itself for the English language, albeit a minor one at best. Within a language with so many strict dichotomies (hard as a rock, soft as a pillow, but what about everything in between?) it is always a welcome feeling to be reminded that the language is more vibrant than at times perceived and with the capability to gain more hues, shades, and colors altogether.

But will anyone do it? Too many of us are all-too-willing to stop at being able to identify the meaning of a word within a certain context, while ignoring its overarching definition, varied as it/they may be. I'm reminded of a scene from the movie "Reality Bites" wherein Winona Ryder's character is attempting to speak to a member of management at some place of business**** and as the woman grows weary of Rider's presence she fires off "What's the definition of 'irony'?" prior to stepping into an elevator. Rider's character responds,"I can identify it!" At this stumble, the woman shakes her head and lets the elevator doors close between her and Rider.

This scene from "Reality Bites" perfectly illustrates a problem with our collective sensibility when it comes to language. We're content to be able to use it or identify it within the context of someone's spoken words or their text (very dangerous, with this attitude pervasive through our culture who's to say some random cat isn't guilty of the same behavior) but few are willing to take the minimal effort to actually learn the definition(s) of a word.

Take it from me, you don't want to look like the heel who uses "penultimate" when he actually meant something along the lines of "super-ultimate." I was that heel, and I felt/looked like one.

Let's keep the language clean (crass and lewd are ok), for remember Noam Chomsky gets more pussy in a week than Wilt Chamberlain did in a year.

*sorry ladies and minorities participating in the corporate crime land victimizing the world-at-large, but your contributions, while remarkable and worthy of a pat on the back, pale in comparison to that of your white, Western, male contemporaries; better luck next time and thanks for playing!

**Anyone reading, especially to this point, feel free to suggest a fitting equivalent to a boss in the respective mainstream realm of culture/thought larceny. Additional request, please think of something better than, "Durrrr....Enron!" Even I could come up with that and I'm pepped up on Red Bull, Emergen-C and egg sandwich. C-r-e-a-t-i-v-i-t-y. It's NOT just a synonym for homosexuality (Any homosexuals reading, especially anyone who had been wiling to or considering employing me on your writing staff, that was tongue-in-cheek; homophobia is gay).

***This script is my first attempt to ween myself from my guilty pleasure that is saturating anything I compose with parentheses. I like to think (with an unofficial vote of support from William Safire, wait, shit! did it again) it demonstrates how thoughtful I am to my subjects and readers, but in reality my usage has become a bit egregious so I am making a conscious effort to "lipo" my writing and "juice" my clarity. Getting back to the footnote, it serves as my parenthetical-methadone, a sub-motive within the reinforcement of knowledge/understanding motive for my habitual trips to dictionary websites is to accrue different, occasionally new interpretations of the word. How 'bout that?

****Anyone into angsty, Gen X, 1990s movies feel free to clue me into more details of this scene, it's hilarious from what I recall . I don't remember much of the film at all, in fact I had completely forgotten that Ben Stiller and Ethan Hawke were in it. Then again, forgetting Ben Stiller isn't such a bad thing, same for Ethan Hawke. Who the hell bails on Uma Thurman? Mr. Hawke, you, your balls, and your BRAIN need to have a pow-wow.