Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Get Down Satan Dub

Well, this can't really be a dub because I can't make the blog play reverby horns and guitars, but put on some Lee "Scratch" Perry and groove... mon...

I'll never do that again, I promise.

I sometimes catch myself being an absolute jerk-off (okay, more often not, but give me some leeway here) and I always think there has to be a reason for it. I mean: who really wants to act like a dick?

To be more precise: it's like I'm being cruel for some strange, inexplicable reason. It's like poking at ant hills when you're little: you know it's wrong, but you do it anyway. That's not the best comparrission because I always got a sick pleasure out of torturing ant hills, but in general it's the same kind of mindless destruction that occurs. It's as though I lose all regard for the other person(s) and just go on ahead just because.

Religion would have me believe this is due to the devil. It seems silly, but I guess I just get down with the Satan. It must be all that devil music I listen to every day.


Saturday, November 27, 2004

Scatter Brained

So, I forgot to mention I heard about this little ditty last week. For the most part, I agree that the professor is way out of line, but at the same time, I'm concerned about the Connie backlash and how terrible it is.

Without question, the professor has some valid points: Israel has done some fairly iffy things and I certainly don't agree with their governmental system. That said: Israel is no more discriminatory than your average Islamic state's; the argument is meaningless without equal criticism (which doesn't exist as far as I can find). In this instance, I can agree that this professor is incorrectly imposing his views on his students, but that doesn't mean the Connies are right in the end.

The professor in question is not, "a typical Arab liar." Calling him a liar because he's a little crazy is fine, calling all Arabs liars, not so much. Nor is he, "another," leftist indoctrinating his students; most professors don't, at least mine don't.

My belief is that most Connies that shout and bitch about this just want to eliminate views that threaten their own. There is a convenient habit of forgetting how many Connies come out of universities, especially east-coast universities.

It would be one thing to have your students watch Al-Jazeera (hell, I even read their online edition) to get an insight into what many Arabs watch, it's another to say this is the truth as handed down from most high. The same could be said of Fox, but let's not go there.

Long story short, the story is a mess and everyone is being stupid.

So, pretty much more of the same.


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

These Guys are From England and Who Gives a Shit?

I was talking to a linguistics buddy of mine and the topic of British accents came up. To be more precise: the way they are precieved by Americans.

What I can't get is why most people hear British accents and associate a level of sophistication (let's ignore cockney for a minute here, that raises different opinions). Do we have left over cultural taining from pre-Revolutionary War or something?


Monday, November 22, 2004

What's in a Name

As someone who has been granted with innumerable nicknames, their existence has perplexed me for sometime. I have nothing against them, I just don't know why they exist, especially when they are sometimes longer than the person's real name.

I mean, it makes sense when you have name like Mathialbertimmothy to have a nick name; hell, even Robert deserves a nickname, but nick-names don't reflect that (e.g. Fat Albert). Are we saying nicknames are who the person should have been named? Does it best reflect the person they have become? Do we just really want to call are friend Will, "Mr. Monkey Pants," because it sounds hilarious?...

Maybe that's just me...

Anyway, I'd like to see sociology paper on nicknames and what they say for us as a societies. Every country has them, but why? What do we gain from calling our children, "little ten bun," instead of the name we gave them at birth?

I think it has to be a fear of someone's true name. I think all societies have weird mythology about name-stealing evil magic folk, maybe that's it. Paranoia to novelty in many thousand years.

Either that or "Monsieur Monkey Pants," is just too freaking hilarious to not have someone named as such.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I Fought With the Law

Law suits provide me with endless enjoyment. Not the actual legal stuff, just the raw bitterness that they inevitably capture. Law suits, even those filed for the most noble of reasons, always reduce people to their most greedy and vicious, they're like modern day gladiator duels, but with more money and less blood.

I don't think it's just the hilarious spectacle they always create that amuses me (and I'm not talking about the Judge Judy bullshit), I think it's also the fact that a there is a huge spectrum of reasons that law suits are brought (from very justified to stupid petty shit) and it always seems to give off the same essence of anger and hatred from both sides.

Oh sure, there are aberrations like the United States Postal Service versus Postal Service where everyone walks away happy, but for the most part one party walks away vindictive, having laid the smackdown and the other leaves swearing appeals and just plain peeved.

So, to sum it up, it's the outcome where the losers refuse to acknowledge it and the winners try to appear as dignified as possible that makes it so silly and, thus, enjoyable. The only thing that's better is political races, and even then, law suits are usually even better.

Mostly I think it's good that we have a legal system to sponser laying the smack down on those who we think have done us wrong.


Monday, November 15, 2004

Fuzz, Fuzz

"...the signal that you get from me because
cat's wanna act up (yo!)
cat's wanna act up..."
-Cannibal Ox as performed for Sharkey
I've found that I hate the local alternative station in my area. Not the idea of it (I work in college radio after all), but a couple things just bother me endlessly about it.

They use whips that say fun things like,
"You may not like all the music we play, but at least we're taking chances."
Huh? You're owned by Disney, you don't take chances, you'd lose your jobs if you took chances, all you do is troll the college charts looking for the top two, and put them into light rotation.

I'm happy that indie bands can make it big, but taking a fairly popular band and adding it isn't taking chances, it's doing the most logical thing possible.

It's irritating listening to a station that's part of massive corporate media network put on the trappings of an indie station.

This isn't a new complaint, but the raw hypocrisy of that whip and Cannibal Ox's battle rhymes got me going.

Sorry, I'll behave next time.


Saturday, November 13, 2004

The Revoution is Dead! Long Live the Revolution!

I don't understand revolutions. That's not to say I don't understand when people rise up and take something; I don't understand comercial revolutions.

Take the Atikins deit: apparently it's a, "low-carb revolution," but how? Are people launching daring raids against pasta factories and I just missed the sweeping headlines?
//They would be freaking hillarious though:


Maybe it's just me.//
It's bizzare. Revolting against, "the man," is cool, so cool that, "the man," is turning around and selling it to people. It's not even a new thing, it's been going on for generations. Gangsters in the 20's and 30's, James Dean and complany after that, hippies, punks, etc. ridiculous.

It's like the concept of, "punk fashion," huh? Whatever, it just seems so hypocritical to have people like Harley Davidson claiming all this American rebillion bullshit and then charging prices that only middle-aged nostalgia can afford it.

Oh well, effective marketing that yields results will continue, I just think it's stupid. "Fight the power! Buy this new Cities 97 sampler!"
//On an unrelated topic, check out Dosh. He's great guy and makes great stuff. Fog is good too as they are also awesome people and make sweet music.//

Friday, November 12, 2004

Why Don't You Trip on a Helmet and Die

Bikers are the untouchables of this city. I don't mean the jerks on motorcycles (they're just as bad as the cars), I mean cyclists. Bikes aren't allowed on sidewalks and people always scream at you when you dodge around them because you're going faster. That's fine by me, but then again, cars and other motorized vehicles hate you in the road. So where are we supposed to go again?

I mean, why hate on bikers? We don’t obey traffic signals all the time because vehicles not only don't look for you, they're determined not to care if they do see you. People turn in front of us constantly, and why, you ask? Mostly because cars go faster and therefore get to go first apparently. Look, I'm going to become a fucking cyclist guerilla if one more car tries to kill me. I've had beer/pop bottles thrown at me, obscenities spit, insults hurled, birds flown, and I'm tired of this shit. I'm going to go back to breaking tail lights if this doesn't get better.

Here's my solution (I'm not just whining, honest, I have an answer): bikers get lanes everywhere, at least until drivers learn to share; to quote my cousin, "just as I respect the pedestrians right to the sidewalk, please respect my right to the road."

Do you hear me, Twin Cities? Then shape up, damn it.


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I Am Frightened To

To me: there is nothing more nerve-racking then sharing music you've made with other people. Perhaps it is related to the hidden desire we all have to be liked and have others think we are good people; music is a very personal thing so that would make sense. Either that or I'm just really nervous about nothing.

It's very odd, I like the stuff I do, I don't mind talking about it, but when it comes down to having other people listen to, I get nervous as fuck.

I can't really explain it. I love the stuff I make; hell, I'm rocking it right now, but I'm always worried that someone else will think it's absolute shit. I suppose that's what it really is, not so much the fear of failure, but the fear of having something important to me be disregarded by others.

It's an odd anxiety, but I've found a lot of people share it. We're all embarrassed to death when we share music that we've made, so the question is not is this a unique anxiety, but why does it exist. Here's my two cents of analysis:

Society, as a whole, discourages honest discussion and expression of emotion. Those that do express their feelings get teased and ridiculed if they aren't bursting into tears or breaking things (seriously, who hasn't made fun of the arteeest types for always going on and on about the emotion they were trying to express and how no one understands). By the same token opening one's self up to the emotions of another person is a no-no. Being emotional is tied to fits of fancy, irrationality, and generally stupid actions, which is ridiculous, but that's how it is.

Listening to music about love and angst and rage and grief and happiness and everything takes a leap of faith; a willingness to open up to enjoying it, a willingness to accept what the artist is trying to express. So, the combination of society pressuring us not to express our emotions to others and the pressure to not open up to the emotions of others leads us to fear sharing something as personal as music we made for fear that the person your sharing it with will think you're being stupid and ridiculous.

Embarrassment doesn't make any sense, but it still exists. Really, fear in general is what holds society together a lot of the time (fear of consequences). It may just be our fear of being the monkey that stands out and gets eaten or thrown out of the pack, but is fear of embarrassment really a bad thing? Who really wants to feel stupid?

I probably just need to ease up, and I do share my stuff with a lot of my friends, but I can't help but to wonder, if they're just taking it, listening to it, and sometimes saying they like it (although usually not, but that's been my problem) to humor me or if they really do like it.


Sunday, November 07, 2004

Master H.P. Butterswarth is on the Phone

Music snobbery is a thing I both despise and have come to fear I practice.

For example: I hate it when people drop names of bands they know just to show how cool they are, but at the same time I know I get a sick little rush when I say something like, "that song is totally my new, 'Kish Kash,'" and people get confused and I explain that "Kish Kash" was a fucking awesome song done by Basement Jaxx on their most recent release of the same name and how this song has the same kind of... blah, blah, blah. I mean it's like the same awful pleasure you get from stories about mountain lion kitten getting stuck to frozen railroad tracks; it's great, but wow does it feel wrong.

So on one hand, I really hate the hipster, "I only go to shows with only four other people there," bullshit, but at the same time, I'm just as much of a victim of that mind set. I tend to go to shows that aren't 5,000+ events and I feel good about it. But is that because I', supporting local/underground musicians or because I'm, "so unique." I believe it's the former, but I'm kind of biased.

Is it possible to talk about bands people don't know about without looking/sounding like a complete jackass? I like to think that I talk about music someone might not know about in a non-offensive, "this band/performer is awesome, but you might not know about them kind of way," yet it always feels like I'm being condescending. How the hell do I talk about my favorite band without coming off as all high and hauty when most people go, "who?"

The other side of this, is the criticism angle of it all (e.g. "Yellow Card sucks major ass and don't even get me started about that Good Charlotte shit."). I always feel a evil when I say things like, "I can't stand Lil' Jon. Next to RJD2, DJ Krush, DJ Abilities, DJ Signify, Ant, and about twenty million others he's just a lousy producer. Considering that he doesn't really do much in his songs, it's not even worth comparing him to Aesop Rock, Cannibal Ox, Sage Francis, P.O.S., and sooo many more, he should just be beaten for doing that to hip-hop.” Or even, "What the - 'Kill Switch Engage' what the fuck is this shit? I can't believe they put mastodon before this crap. Why didn't anyone think to bring someone like Kylesa along?"

Now even though that I may feel that way, I always wonder, if I'm not just being some hipster-prick. I mean, a lot of people really like Lil' Jon and Kill Switch Engage, so what right do I have to flaunt my college radio-ness at people? I mean, are my opinions really that better informed?

I would like to say yes, but I still feel kind of dirty saying so. Maybe it's society's hatred of the idea of a plutocracy (although the majority of Americans keep voting for it and loving it on their televisions).

It isn't wrong to love underground music, but is it wrong to talk about it when the people you're talking to don't know what it is? I'd say no, but I still feel jerky when I criticize bands and then give examples of bands that I think are better.

I mean saying, "You don't know who Outkast is?" Is a lot different than saying, "You don't know who Brother Ali is?" Or is it? I can never really decide. Maybe I'll just stick to my ways and not analyze it to death...



Saturday, November 06, 2004

That's What You Said Last Time You Put Your Hand Down My Pants

This will be the last election related-post, I promise.

I hate the Daily Mirrior, it's a shitty, shitty tabloid. That said, this head line made me happy:


I think it's a telling sign with this is not an uncommon opinion abroad.


Thank God for Ice Cream

So, apparently the airline industry is complaining about the obese trying to fly. I've got to say this has to be my favorite news item of the past three months; the humor potential is endless.

That said, it raises a concern of mine that I've been ignoring for a while: being fat is okay.

Now, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with saying fat people are good people (it's true, there's not a higher level of jerk-ness among the obese), but saying there's nothing wrong with the obese is like saying there's nothing wrong kids in wheelchair. Of course there's something wrong with them, that's why there in a wheelchair! I'm not saying the quadriplegic are wrong and should be eliminated, I'm just saying we should acknowledge the fact that they do have a problem and we should be mindful of it.

With that in mind here's my thoughts on the, "saying fat is bad makes people anorexic," cry:

Shut the fuck up.

Seriously, my view is simple: if you're fat, most likely you got that way by your own actions (unlike say the quadriplegic where, dumb people who do it to themselves in freak accidents aside, it usually isn't something they did). While anorexia is a problem that isn't funny, telling people that being thin is better for them isn't a bad thing (the medical community usually knows what the hell it's talking about). There needs to be a distinction between, "thin," and, "rail/death thin," that's all.

Should people be comfortable with there bodies? Absolutely, but there's a fine line between accepting a level of extra-weight that's healthy and the amount found in a majority of Americans. I'd rather the obese kid down the hall didn't flop over from a heart attack than feel that being overweight is okay.

To me: obesity is like smoking, I'm fine with you deciding to do it, but don't come crying to me when you start to have health problems because of it. I mean, the smoking-obesity analogy isn't 100% accurate (obese-free flights would still be discrimination), but you hopefully understand where I'm going with this.

I'm not advocating for everyone to be rail thin sticks, I'm just telling you that it's bad (in the same way clogged arteries are bad) to be fat; ask a god damn doctor if you don't believe me.

Still, you've got freedom of choice, so whatever.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Why, America? Why'd you do it? I put my hope in you, and you let me down. It was the Backlash wasn't it? I told you not to hang around with those creepy right-wing kids. I said they were always running around talking about, "God," and, "the average man," but always walked corporate.

Seriously, what has happened to us? Look at that swath from the north-west to the south of Republican-ness; what the hell? These areas used to be the bastions of progressivism (Populism, anyone?) and now they're conservative wacks trying to kill homosexuals and destroy women's rights.

//"Wanna hear a Joke?"
"'Womens' Rights.'"
And the sad part: it's slowly coming to be the truth.//

How did a majority of people in this country decide we were better off known commodity? I mean, does this make sense: sticking with something you know about it? It's like, "well, this pen is all out of ink, but I'll keep writing with it anyway because it might turn out that there's some in there."

I think what it came down to is something a simple as Kerry's message was too complex; people just got turned off by it.

Oh well, this may cheer some of you up. Or just depress the hell out of you.

Best of luck, we'll need it.


Monday, November 01, 2004

Dead Eyes

I'm fascinated by light. I'm fascinated by the way it behaves and also with the way people perceive light.

As part of that, I'm also transfixed in the way binnocular vision works. Both eyes have to focus on the same thing to work properly; if they don't it doesn't work too well, moreover, most peope can't focus on two seperate things. Try it, try looking to the outer side of your eyes at the asme time (i.e. left eye all the way to the left, right eye all the way to the right), I bet you can't do it.

What's even cooler about this to me, is the fact that deep in our little instinctive brains we expect other perople to function this way. Think about it: if someone appears to be not focussing on anything when they talk to you, then you assume they aren't listening or they're ignoring you.

IT is this factoid that carries me to my main point: dead people are more creepy looking when they have their eyes open. Think about it, your back brain keeps expecting the eyes to move and focus, but they don't, and your front brain knows it. Never the less, that look is so diconcerting to the primate brain in the back of our skulls that most people can't stand the sight of open, unblinking, dead eyes.

For extra creepout factor, think about what happens if a dead person's eyes roll to opposite sides of their head, most people couldn't take it.

I'm not trying to be dark and macarbe, but I'm fascinated by light, eyes and the way it all behave to shape our preceptions.