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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Message to Scientology




They are Anonymous. And they have a little message for the Church of Scientology. Could this be the dawning of yet another Holy War?


**shudder**

News, issues, black thought...F.U.B.U.

The Root is a new website/journal geared towards the African American experience. The site promises to bring us news, articles, and commentary on news and issues from the past, present, and future, pertaining to the African American experience.

I just started looking at it, and it seems to be on the right track...we'll see.

Check it out here.

"The Milli Vanili of DJ'ing"



If you can make it through this horrendous display, this is a video of a set by former New Order bassist Peter Hook. You can kinda tell he's faking it just a few seconds into the thing by all that crazy "dancing" he's doing. And where are his headphones? What a douche.

This link.

Hawaii Chair



Okay...now, how f*&king lazy does your fat-ass HAVE TO BE....to buy this thing?!

Check out this, and other lazy bullshit...here.

Fly to space for $40,000/minute!


Earlier this month, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic unveiled the designs for their new civilian and payload based space travel crafts; SpaceCraft II and WhiteKnight II. WhiteKnight II is the vehicle that will fly SpaceCraft II up to the appropriate height for launch through the atmosphere and into the Earth's orbit. Each flight will cost $200,000 (with a $20,000 deposit) for about 4-5 minutes in space. That's plenty of time to do zero grav. flips and leaps...and throw M&M's in the air...

...eh, I'd still do it. I'll drag all my savings to the Coinstar machine in like 2045, and I should be able to afford it.

Check out the video at their site. Flights could begin in 2009.

Smurf Porn


Well, someone actually did it. It's been discussed for years...from the playground to the water cooler...and now here it is. I mean, come on...all those smurfs, and only one of 'em is a girl? It was bound to happen sooner or later.

So here we are, and in no way, shape, or form is this safe for work (NSFW)...Smurf Fuckfest.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mammy-san...

"Everybody wants to be a nigga, but no one wants to be a nigger."
-- Paul Mooney


Just when you thought you'd seen it all...

Japanese girls have always been on the cutting edge of fashion, but this is kinda nutty. The latest style...or, at least, the latest thing that we've seen (this has probably been around for a while) is known as Gyaru, which is translated to "gal" in English. Basically, it's young Japanese girls in black-face.


Now I'm sure most (Americans) people will see this and their heads will explode. Race, once again, is always a tricky subject in this country. Blackface does not have the same impact to us that it does in other countries. Ethnic face painting is done all over the world as "yellowface", "brownface", "redface", and "whiteface"/"paleface". Young Japanese people are seemingly fascinated with Black American culture, even going so far as to adopt nail and hair extensions, type of dress, language, etc. Just think, if you wanted to go as Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan or (obscurity alert) Takeshi "Beat" Kitano for Halloween or any costumed event, would you do something to alter your hair or your eyes? Or your skin color?



Check out:
The Legacy of Blackface, from NPR.
White Students in Blackface Jena 6 Reenactment, from Smoking Gun.
Youtube compilation of black stereotypes in movies and cartoons.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes

So, we've had "Man Bites Dog", "The Blair Witch Project", "Cloverfield", and now..."The Poughkeepsie Tapes." The latest in the "shakey-cam" genre, we have the story of the Poughkeepsie Police Department's September 2001 discovery of over 800 video tapes of brutal and deeply disturbing footage of murders committed (and video taped) by America's most terrifying serial killer.

This film is coming out some time this year.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger found dead



What a bummer.

Man on Mars...or Big Foot in Arizona...?


Look at this-- Taken four years ago from the Mars Explorer Spirit...what appears to be a man-ish creature taking a stroll across the Martian landscape. Kinda makes you think of this guy:


But it's more-than-likely similar to this guy:

Turns out that this is not really a face on Mars, but a formation of rocks that, when the right lighting hits it, LOOKS like a face.

Ah, the human mind...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Movie Review: "Cloverfield"



"This is some bullshit...!"

That's what I heard about two minutes before the end of the 7:40pm showing of "Cloverfield," the new and highly-anticipated movie from the latest Hollywood wonder-boy JJ Abrahams. When the screen went black, and "Directed by Matt Reeves" appeared, the same person said "I'm gettin' my money back, this is bullshit!" And he wasn't the only one. "Cloverfield" left this Brooklyn audience with a mutual vibe...dejected, disappointed, annoyed, ripped off...the two comments uttered by one lone voice pretty much summed it up.

And that's too bad, because I liked it. A lot.

"Cloverfield" follows the tradition of films like "Man Bites Dog" and "The Blair Witch Project." It's a high-concept mock-documentary, but this time with special effects. Imagine every monster movie you've ever seen, but instead of following the scientists who are trying to find out where the monster came from, or the military men trying to destroy it...what happens if one of the people running out of the monster's path just happens to have a camcorder. That's "Cloverfield."

**SPOILER ALERT**

The setup is similar to "Blair Witch"-- a video tape has been found by the military and has been archived as a classified piece of evidence of the event dubbed the "Cloverfield" incident. What we are watching is, in its entirety, the tape itself, having been tagged with DoD (Department of Defense) pre-roll, and a "Property of the US Government" watermark.

When the footage begins, we are introduced to a clever little flashback devise that is sprinkled throughout the films, mostly after moments of high stress. Its a tape of a guy named Rob (there are no stars in this film, by the way) making a recording after spending the night with a beautiful young woman named Beth. They have a great connection; they're playful, and in love, and planning what they want to do for the rest of the day. But then the footage cuts abruptly. The tape has been recycled (accidentally) and is now being used to document a party for Rob...he's moving to Japan for a job as a vice president for some company. The party is being documented by his friend, Hud. But there is a problem. When Beth shows up at the party, she's with another guy. This leads to a bit of drama-- something has obviously happened in the time between the original contents of the tape, and the new story being taped over it. But just as the drama has died down, there's a massive explosion, and a violent earth tremor, that knocks out electricity for blocks. From this point on, it's non-stop, leading up to that shot that flashed briefly in the teaser trailer...the head of the Statue of Liberty crashing through buildings and landing in the middle of the street, almost right in front of them. One of my favorite moments in the movie is when people start taking out their cellphones to take pictures of it.

The romance between Rob and Beth is the thread that runs through this movie. Without it, this film would have been about 30-40 minutes long. They ultimately need a reason to stay in Manhattan while all this craziness is going on (they had two chances to get out of the city, and a third at the end). It worked for me. I liked the characters. And I thought the situations worked-- nothing really felt forced. I also liked the length of the film; it ended EXACTLY where it needed to. It's a 90 minute tape, so...it's a 90 minute movie.

The effects were great, when they were explosions and rubble, and other inanimate objects. The creature itself, which I thought I had already seen (but hadn't) is like every other creature made in CG...fake. CG has really done a lot for blending effects into filmed environments, but creatures and people and other living things, unless they're small, or blurred or something, almost always look like shit. But they don't look any worse than the Godzilla movies I used to grow up with...and the Ray Harryhausen stuff...so screw it. I still liked it.

Another thing I like about the movie is that you only know as much as the people in the film know...which is not a whole hell of a lot. We are completely in-the-moment with this experience. There are things that happen, and some clues that allude to certain things (pay close attention every time you see a television), but there are a few things that happen without explanation, or warning. The only thing that anyone ever knows is that the city is under attack by some big thing. No one knows what it is, nothing seems to be capable of destroying it, and the only thing we can do is get away from it.

**NO MORE SPOILERS**

As many people have noticed, New York destruction films seem to be emerging as a new genre. I mean sure, there have been films that have destroyed NYC in the past, but the post-9/11 world has brought us some new visions that are much more realistic and far more visceral. Anyone that was in New York City on 9/11, or glued to the television on the day of, and the days immediately after, will see a lot of familiar things in "Cloverfield." I could imagine that the filmmakers watch hours of 9/11 footage for inspiration. If you want to see something even closer to it in reality, rent Gedeon and Jules Naudet's accidental disaster film, "9/11".

But if the audience I saw this film with was any indication, it seems like a lot of people will be with this film up to the last 20 minutes or so, which is when the they seemed to turn on the film (the result of the search for Beth). But as the "flashbacks" suggested, this moment was exactly what needed to happen. And the ending is pretty much exactly the way it needed to be. Like "Blair Witch" and "Man Bites Dog", these things have to end; and all we really need is the tape to tell us what happened...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Revolution #9...11

From WFMU's Beware of the Blog, an entry from their Remix Rudy Guiliani contest...this is one of the most brilliant mash-ups I have ever heard. A combination of the Beatles "Revolution #9" with Guiliani's 9/11 tourette's.

N-joy.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Made in America


I love American Apparel. Not for their over-priced t-shirts and "panties"(made in America, bitches) , but for their hot, hyper skanky ads.

I mean, look at this stuff...





...oh, and this one, too...


...and this...


...they're just filthy and naughty, and I want to sleep with like 90% of the women in these ads. And, apparently, so does their CEO.

Founder and CEO Dov Charney is very proud of his company. So proud, that he walks around the office in his underwear; apparently barely keeping his junk tucked in. And he also, allegedly, throws around words like "sluts" and "whores" (damn you hip-hop!!) and frequently requests masturbation sessions with his female employees; he even provides them with vibrators (allegedly). By the way, he also serves as the photographer for the AA ads, and holds the shoots in his apartment (awesome). And now they wanna sue him-- can you believe that?!

It's getting so you can't disrespect women without getting into trouble! What's the world coming to?!

**sarcasm alert**

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Not very Scrabulous any more



Wow-- it looks like the very reason I joined Facebook in the first place is getting wiped out.

Hasbro has ordered Facebook to remove their Scrabble clone Scrabulous from their site, due to copyright violations.

"Hey! That chinky, white-trash, kike, dot-head spic called me a nigger!"

Ah, America! We've never had a shortage of people to hate. And I don't know what's worse...the ignorance or the divisiveness.

Let me tell you a short story: When I was 10 years old, me and my family went on a road trip to Florida to visit Disney World. This was 1982 (wow, I'm old...but I digress). It took us about 3 days to get down there, on the second day, we stopped in Georgia. We booked a room in a motel to stay the night before we continued down to Florida, and while we were here we decided to go swimming. I'm not a fan of swimming, so I really wasn't looking forward to it. When we got to the pool it was packed. We got in, and my dad tried to teach me how to swim by holding me vertically in the water...and I commenced the freaking out. I HATED it, was scared to death, and that was it. And we got out of the pool and went back to the room. It wasn't until about year or two later that I was talking to my mom about a film about the civil rights movement called "Eyes on the Prize" that we were watching in class (it was February). And I made a comment about how I was glad that people don't act like that anymore. Then mom reminded me about our trip to Florida, and our stop in Georgia, and the pool that we went to. She asked me if I remembered that the pool was packed when we got there, and I did. Then she asked me if I remembered that the pool was empty within 3 minutes after we got there. And...I remembered that too. I just wasn't paying attention because I was too busy trying not to drown. But she was right. We were the only black family in that pool. And all the white people saw us, grabbed their kids, and left. In fact, the only people left was an elderly white couple. And I remember them being very nice. After that, my mom told me how when we got to Florida, when she and two of my aunts were walking from a grocery story, a group of white kids drove by and shouted "NIGGERS! NIGGERS!!" at them. I was stunned.

Recently, MSNBC featured an article about how racial harassment is still a very big problem in workplaces such as factories and retail stores. And even in the presidential campaigns, how the Clintons have passive-aggressively been using race to gain and maintain the support from the African-American community that they've comfortably enjoyed since the early 1990s. And, incidentally, this is not just a black problem... After 9/11 there were several physical and verbal attacks against innocent Muslim and Arab Americans. And the anti-brown rhetoric being spewed in the face of the so-called immigration issue in this country, blaming Mexicans and other brown people for stealing American jobs. I see all of this, and I hear what people are saying, and the only thing I can think is...God, we really are THAT stupid, aren't we? Just a bunch of mindless sheep, just buying into piles after piles of bullshit, and at the same time ignoring the real issues that effect ALL Americans.

Here's a news flash that may be surprising to most people: THE RACE ISSUE IS A MYTH. Period. It's a fallacy, propagated by the powerful few to divide and conquer the populous, so that while we're all fighting each other, they can do their crooked bidding. Sounds a bit conspiratorial, but that is what a conspiracy is, isn't it? Not nut-job UFO or 9/11 stuff...but it's a very convenient social problem to have.

I have this conversation quite a bit, especially with other black people. Personally, I'm sick and tired of hearing the same "white man" excuse from black men. Yes, there was one point in our history in this country that our people represented the slave class...for the most part. What a lot of American blacks don't know is that we weren't all slaves. Some of us were indentured servants (along with some whites and others) that worked there way to freedom. Some of us were not slaves at all. Some of us, in fact, owned slaves.

And not all white people were for slavery; many opposed it. So, it had to be "marketed" to the population as a way to "help" these poor African savages-- these animals, these child-like beings, were dragged from the jungle to save them from themselves. "And we will take these poor savages in...we will clothe them, feed them, teach them about God to remove the devil from them...and in exchange, the will do the work that we so desperately need them to do!" See that? So, it's okay because we're actually helping these people out!

But now we have a new slave class in America...the Mexicans. But they don't work for free-- they're paid what are called "slave wages". And if it's not Mexicans picking our fruit, or washing dishes, or doing landscaping work and cleaning public restrooms (work, by the way, that apparently blacks won't do...anymore...), we also have brown people in other countries that are answering our customer service lines, or animating our favorite television shows. When you watch the news, the talking heads and the public are constantly blaming these people from stealing our jobs. In reality, it's white-owned corporations and business that are outsources and giving away American jobs to these brown people so they don't have to pay "greedy Americans" what they're actually worth...and they also don't have to worry about paying their health insurance either(!). You can't fuel a slave-based economy when your hemorrhaging money to pay your employees...that's just silly! You silly liberal moron!

And those Clintons...those goddamn Clintons-- boy, who'd have thought that Barrack could intimidate them SO MUCH that they would play the race card (and the female card...) to show us blacks that your can't trust this...black guy to run this country. Sure, they didn't come right out and say that-- they're politicians, not idiots! But they'll get jackass Bob "BET" Johnson to make moronic comments. And after all, they're the Clintons! Remember Bill? He LOVES black people! **insert bad Bill Clinton impression** Come on, guys, remember?! Remember what they did for y'all?! You're not ingrates, are you?! Ingrates!!

I'm fortunate enough to live in New York City, where I can surround myself with people that don't have their heads wedged up their poopers when it comes to this garbage. I honestly can't believe that we're still even talking about this nonsense. And it's not even like we're really talking about it. Granted, it's not as in-your-face as it was up through the 1960s-80s...in fact, the passive-aggressive nature of it kinda makes it worse. People are way too cowardly to express these things out loud. And when "they" are not around...we can really talk about "these things." You know who "they" are. We all have our "they." Our "them." And we're "their" "them" too.

But this is America. Like my mother used to say, "America always needs someone to hate."Which is a good thing, 'cause we all hate each other.

Just keep it to yourself...

...N-word...!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

MacBook Air




**sigh** Whatever, Steve...

Look, it's cute. Very cute. Just like the iPhone, and the iTouch, and everything else with an "i" attached to it. Cute. Stylish. Fancy. But practical? Nope.

There are only 3 ports on the thing; a USB 2.0, a Micro DVI, and a headphone jack. THAT'S IT. And what is up with that crappy keyboard?! Not to mention that I would break that thing 2 days after I bought it. And you're gonna charge me over $3000 to make it worth running ANY of the software that I use regularly?! Are you shitting me?

Sorry, Steve. But I got iSense. So suck iT.




Say that to my face...book


It seemed like everyone in the office was on Facebook. I would hear people talk about it here and there, and never really thought much of it. To me, it was just another MySpace...but with older people. I know that it started as an online community that catered to college students, and later branched out to the general public. But I still really knew nothing about it. I had a MySpace account, but I never used it because...well, I thought it was kinda stupid. If I wanted to chat with my friends, there was email...and IM...and that quaint little invention called the telephone. So I really wasn't all that interested in this social networking site stuff. I did enough socializing without computers being involved.

But then one day I overheard some co-workers talking about a game of Scrabble that they were playing, and that they were playing it on Facebook. "Really?" I thought. That's kinda cool, I could see myself doing that. I mean, gone were the days (apparently) of getting a group of friends together to play the actual game, with the cardboard game board and wooden tiles, and that black felt bag used to juggle and pull the tiles from. This is the future! And in the future, you can play Scrabble online! So that was how I got pulled into the social networking sensation. And now that I'm there...I think I want out. But I don't know how to leave it!!!!

Now, I'm ass-deep in notifications about flirts, and Happy Pills, and Super Wall posts, and sheeps being thrown at me. Not a day goes by that I'm not clicking "Ignore" on some stupid Facebook App that my "virtual friends" keep sending me! Every. Goddamn. Day. Sure, you can modify the apps so you're not getting bombarded with emails and clogging up news feeds with how many people think you're hot, or loveable, or who wants to test your movie knowledge about celebrity couples and gangster movies....but still, you don't know this shit before you sign onto this thing! At first, it's cool! You find out that a lot of your friends are on the site. And you find out that you old college roommate is also on the site. And that ex-girlfriend that you couldn't get along with, but was great in bed, is ALSO on the site! And you can put up pictures, and movies and videos, so that your cousin can see your daughter or son open their Xmas presents, or your friends and co-workers can see what you did on your trip to Paris. It's fun like that...at first....

...so now, the honeymoon is over. I'm getting my ass handed to me in their stupid version of Scrabble (which will only validate words when it feels like it). And now I have to go through and delete all those stupid apps that people sent me (no, I don't want to be an Ice Vampire, goddamn it!). But...I must say that I have met people from all over the world through various posts and even some of those stupid apps. And, something that NEVER happens to me in "real life"...women approach me. Quite a few women, in fact. Attractive women. Who want to chat, and look at your pics, and you look at theirs, and you flirt, and write "xoxox" when you close your messages...it's all very cute. And to all those ladies out there in Finland, and Sweden, England, and Africa, I say to you...it's been fun. But I have to get back to my life of passive-aggressive and overly-cautious New York girls. And then I can break out my Scrabble board, and call my friends up to see if they can come over to play, but can't because they're too busy.

Or...I can just live virtually virtual, and fight zombies.

In the beginning...

Lately I've found myself running this constant inner-dialogue in my head. Now, this is a bit different than just fleeting thoughts about things that I've read, or experiences I've had. There are times when I get down-right homeless man about it; walking down the street, talking out loud...first with a whisper, then into a full-blow exclamation of frustration or passion or anger or whatever you want to call it. I've found that I am in need of an outlet for these thoughts. Sure, I can unload on my friends, but they're not always in the mood to hear me pontificate (or rant, or complain, or ramplain) about all this junk, so...........here I am.

I have a lot on my mind, I have a big mouth, and I type nearly 80 wpm. Let's see what happens.