Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Weirdest Umbrella Ever

On my way to the Laugh Lounge, I noticed an umbrella in the trash.

I noticed a shopping list inside the umbrella.

Blades? Tape? A cord? Rope? Sounds like the work of a criminal mastermind. The list was inside an umbrella...The Penguin
is up to no good. He was near a comedy club ...

He is practicing in all of the comedy clubs, but he will attack the Gotham comedy club! We must stop him before he enters Gotham!

This sounds like a job for ... The Hack!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fun With Military Jargon

Now don't get it twisted - I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Bolshevik and I don't split hairs when it comes to how we honor soldiers. Write a corny country song, make a virtual reality Indian burial ground, make a finger painting in their memory - with a gorilla doing the finger painting - it don't worry me.

Anyway, I saw this sign at Eisenhower Park that pissed me off:

Note: this is a parking sign. So this is how we remember our prisoners? With parking lot puns?

Well, let me have some fun with military jargon.

My clothes are MIA (Made in America)

I actually like WWII better (Wayne's World 2)

Despite popular opinion, there is no evidence of WMD's (white man dicks).

You know what Eisenhower Park? You're right - this is fun! You're the best Park In Several States (PISS).

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Dissed .. For a Microscope

One winter, I went to the Invite Them Up CD release party and saw a lovely woman handle the merch. Lo and behold, she was single. How did I find out? I saw she was DATING A MICROSCOPE.

How is a microscope better than me? It doesn't have a penis (though, unlike me, you can see my penis with the microscope). Touche, microscope. But remember Ms. Comer -

Just because it sees what the naked eye hides
Does not mean it sees what is inside

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Speaking of Virtual Death

AT&T has replaced Wal-Mart as the corporation I hate most.

Read Cory Doctorow's excellent analysis if you can't log into Salon.

The Scariest Thing I've Ever Seen Part II

First read Part I

This creature with no name now threatens to be a predator in the virtual world. An avatar representing it chases you in a virtual grid and can virtually kill you. Being a blogger, virtual death is the truest death imaginable.

via Kotaku

Friday, April 14, 2006

Video Game Character Episode of "Next"

"Next" is one of those dating shows that uses that annoying "voted off" cliche. I wonder what this show would be like with video game characters.

Hello. My name is Samus Aran. I used to wear a power suit and shoot metroid as well as Mother Brain. Now I wear a powerful suit and shoot pictures of mothers' brains using state-of-the art PET scans at Central Star Radiology.

I need a guy who challenges me and who has a good work ethic. Though I am 45, I like to be treated like a lady, not like Lara Slut - I mean Croft.

(cut to Samus Aran flipping her blond hair)

After all those years as a lonely bounty hunter, I need a partner. For love, not bounty hunting.

(cut to RV with male contestants)

Nameles thug from Grand Theft Auto III: I'm going in. (He leaves and RV contestant inexplicably laugh)

GTA Guy: Hello.
Samus: Oh Mylanta, you are so fine. Today, we're going to jump from ledge to ledge.

(after the activity is over)

Samus: So what do you do for a living?
GTA thug: Punch hoes - I mean holes.
Samus: Oh really? Holes? I thought you said "Punch hoes." I like to punch bitches myself.
GTA: Reall-
(Samus punches him)
Samus: Next!

(GTA thug walks back into RV - RV contestants laugh.)

Master Chief from Halo: I'm going in NEXT! (RV contestants inexplicably laugh)

Samus: Hi!
Master Chief:
(Gives her helmet. Samus looks confused - he explains). I got it so we could communicate better. You can read and hear what I'm saying with this helmet. It is teh coolest.
Samus: Aw, hell no. I've been wearing a helmet for twenty years. Next!

(Master Chief walks back into RV. Contestants laugh.)

Lara Croft from Tomb Raider: I'm going in.
GTA Guy: With a strap-on?
(contestants inexplicably laugh)

Lara Croft: Hello, Samus.
Samus: Bitch please. Next!

(Contestants inexplicably laugh)

Samus: Oh, hi Sonic the Hedgehog. (wacks him) You are moving way too fast. (Sonic stands with hands at hips, taps foot and gives her a dirty look) Next!

(Sonic runs back into RV and throws Mario out the RV.)

Mario: It's me, Mario.
Samus: Hi Mario.
Mario: Mama mia!
Samus: So far you are the most charming one.
Mario: Wa-ho!
Samus: Don't get too excited.
Mario: Pickle!
Samus: Huh?
Mario: I mean "Let's a-go."
Samus: Actually, you must a-go. Next!

(RV with contestants including Mario are on Katamari ball from Katamari Damacy)

Samus: Oh Mylanta! I'm in love! All the hipsters love Katamari Damacy! (Katamari ball crushes her) It is my fate, alas, to be crushed by the one I love. (contestants inexplicably laugh)

Reality Show Syndrome

In 2000, before the egalitarian promise of Internet fame via a viral video, there was reality TV.

Reality TV began in earnest in the '90's, but with Survivor's CBS debut in 2000, a new element was added: voting off. This led to cruel dating shows (Elimidate, 5th Wheel). It also led to Reality Show Syndrome.

What is Reality Show Syndrome? What isn't reality show syndrome?

Take American Idol. Please.

Pro: Amateurs can potentially become pop stars overnight. Audience can vote.
Con: Judges, not audience members, choose the singers

THIS is where the syndrome comes into play. Sure you can vote for your favorite singer or comic, but judges (or in Last Comic Standing's case, studio execs) choose the entertainers that go on the show.

Problem is, Simon Cowell only sees money. He plays close to the chest. So he would never pass a Bob Dylan or a Lou Reed. Hell, Jimi Hendrix probably never would have sang "Purple Haze" if Cowell crushed his psychedelic spirit.

The comedians on Last Comic Standing are also assembly-line quality. The entertainers from both shows sound like they are supposed to.


Will the web suffer the same fate?

Answer: Not really. It is true that sensational, titillating virals that reference geek culture tend to arouse more interest than, say, dry observations.

But the ROUTES that people take to get attention make all the difference. Lip synching to a Eurodance song is sophmoric, but Numa Numa would have been too weird to get the greenlight from a studio exec.

Don't believe me? Look, I read Cringe Humor ironically - meathead comedy is great to laugh at (not WITH, at) - but I read this comedian's account of his audition for Last Comic Standing. This is what the exec said to another comic:

What the fuck do you think this is? Do you think it’s really a talent search? It’s reality TV. They already picked who they want. They already know. All they wanted with this was a line around the fucking block

A line of uncut Bolivian coke I bet. Fucking scum of thea earth.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Hipster Rock Can't Break Top 10 on Billboard

Last week Yeah Yeah Yeahs are stuck at #11 on Billboard 200. Now? Flaming Lips are stuck at #11.

Good news: it IS the top rock debut in the country. Unless you consider James Blunt rock. I don't.

So how do you explain how it is the top rock debut but isn't in the top ten? Rock is going out of style baby. People usually mention rappers as the usual suspects, but look at the list.

Two rap albums (TI and Bubba Sparxxx), two country guys. The rest is pop. Pink, Now That's What I Call Putrid ... etc.

Grups like me are still stuck in the early '9o's when Nirvana ruled and everyone had a Sega Genesis. Truth is, since the Spice Girls invaded America in 1997 and established the current New Pop hegemony, alternative rock has been ... um, alternative.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Chin-Strokers Take It On The Chin

Last night I got stoned and saw "Benchwarmers" - a movie so bad, I won't link to it. Enjoy your thirty nanoseconds, Jon Heder.

The premise is about nerds who want to play baseball but get bullied by meatheads. It was originally called "Worst News Bears."

Steve Byrne - a "cringe" comic who comes from the Dice Clay/Opie and Anthony school of comedy - calls out Demetri Martin and Stella in an interview with Cringe Humor.

"And then you’ve got a bunch of those fucking chin-strokers like Stella and Demetri Martin, the kind of guys that are strumming a guitar and stuff. The industry is in love with people like that. On the one hand, I can appreciate their acts, but on the other, these are the people that are getting too many of the opportunities. Audiences in Indiana or Ohio don’t really give a shit about a clever act."

"A bunch of these guys that are picking up guitars now and putting them in their acts—I just wanna Animal-House them. I just want to grab it and smash it against the wall, and tell them, 'Dude, what are you doing? Stop trying to be different.' Because what everybody’s doing is not different anymore."

The difference is this isn't a Hollywood movie, so I bet Demetri Martin and Stella take this lying down.

As will I - Steve Byrne has done comedy longer than I have.

I do disagree with the sentiment "stop trying to be different" though. It sounds like he's whimpering in frustration at the fact that Stella and Martin are geniuses.

Update: Thanks Apiary for linking to me.

The Scariest Thing I've Ever Seen

Yes, I know. You will ridicule me for finding this frightening. But when this creature's path intertwines with yours, your face will be frozen in a rictus of fear. I dare you to imagine anything more blood curdling, more spine tingling, more horror cliched than, THE CREATURE WITH NO NAME

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Simpsons Players Less Violent, But Fatter

A study compared kids who played Grand Theft Auto III to those who played Simpsons: Hit and Run. Here's what they found:

“The researchers found, young men who had played the violent game were less cooperative and more competitive in completing an assigned task with another person, compared to those who played the Simpsons game. They were also more likely to have permissive attitudes toward alcohol and marijuana use.”

So they're saying The Simpsons won't make you want to smoke pot. Because those who watch or play The Simpsons have already consumed toxic amounts of marijuana.

via Kotaku

DS Stands for Destroy Society

On May 29, Nintendo will release a game called Big Brain Academy. This game tells you what brain type you have.

Though this feature has not been announced yet, I fear that stupid people will be able to meet other people with a similar brain type. With Nintendogs, two people playing at the same time are alerted of each other when their DS barks.

What if your DS says "duh" when you pass a Brain Academy player with a similar IQ? Will "duh" become the new mating call? When two stupid people mate, the chances of passing on the chromosomal anomaly are doubled. We don't need the DS to help morons reproduce - it's bad enough that we have MySpace.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Alternative Universe

In the '90s, "alternative" referred to two things: rock and lifestyle (the latter a euphemism for the gay sex).

At the turn of the century, hipsters can enjoy alternative porn (Suicide Girls), alternative comedy, alternative toothpaste (Tom's), alternative food (organic vegetables), alternative news, alternative religion (Taoism).

There are some things that have no alternative though. Here's my list of things to sell in the growing alternative niche market:

Alternative Toilets

Of course your local municipality will con you into thinking you need indoor plumbing. But wouldn't a Port-a-Potty go well with that retro turntable you've got? With a Port-a-Potty in your house, everyday can feel like SXSW.

Alternative Dental Care

Destined to be a big hit at Wilco concerts, guys wait in the parking lot with nitrous tanks. After giving you a righteous whiff of the giddy gas, some guy named Rocco knocks your tooth out for that kitsch "white trash" look. Mullet sold separately.

Alternative BBW Parties

Good news: It's possible to have BBW parties where not all the girls listen to rap and act like thug bitches. There are rubenesque hipsters who like The Pixies and Pere Ubu.

Bad news: These girls are skinny performance artists in fat suits doing a
networked art flash-mob, where all these "fat" actresses write online diaries afterwards of what it's like to be fat. After realizing they stole the idea from Tyra Banks, they commit mass suicide.

Alternative Real Estate

Tired of gentrifying all of NY's cheap neighborhoods? Hipsters can squat in abandoned warehouses and smoke crack, pushing out the homeless who live in these hovels. Indie fanboys can use their Blackberries to tell each other about the hottest abandoned warehouses and hipsters can slum it, throwing hipster parties at night and sleeping during the day. Where will the homeless live? In your brand-new alternative toilet!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Love Letter/Rap to Jenny Lewis

I wrote a letter recently to Sharon Stone. Despite VH1's best efforts (ever), I received no response.

Fair enough: I did not love her anyway. Yes, I am 30 - too young for marriage, it is true, but too old for infatuation. Suffice it to say, I am going to bring this blog to the lowest level possible in the blogosphere: the personal blog, or online diary. Worse still, I will write a letter to a cliche love interest: Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley.

Dear Ms. Lewis:

I know men all the time claim to love you. But how many indie fan boys in the blogosphere know of your love for old-skool hip-hop?

I tried to not love you, but after reading in Spin magazine about your admiration for the Jungle Brothers, man, that was like catnip to this cat. And I'm a hybrid of a kitty kat and a wild cat.

Do I make less and less sense? It was David Byrne who said "Stop Making Sense," right?

Enough of my namedropping. Time to drop something else: rhymes. Are you ready for me to drop some science? I can't hear you? Oh wait, nevermind:

I love you Jenny Lewis
Though I'm Egyptian and you're Jewish
Consider me your slave

Dang nabbit, I can't think of anything that rhymes with "slave." But know this: I have loved you ever since I knew you as the video game girl from "The Wizard." I loved when you screamed "Rape!" when that old guy grabbed you. Wait, you might scream "rape" if you find me too annoying. Let me give you your space.

By the way: science vs. romance? Chemistry brings the two together.

Yours truly,

Yeah Yeah No

Yeah: Show Your Bones received rave reviews, particularly from Village Voice and PopMatters.

Yeah: Show Your Bones charted high on Billboard.

No: Show Your Bones does not have the highest rock album debut of the week. That honor goes to Rob Zombie's Educated Horses.

Though I'm tempted to say that children - a more and more coveted demographic - are responsible for this travesty, I suspect that extreme white punks at mini-marts nationwide are the ones to blame. I could just see it now:
Extreme Dude #1: Dude, that album's called "Show Your Bones."
Extreme Dude #2: I'll show her my bone, all right.
XD#1: What? Rob Zombie? Extreme!
XD#2: Extreme! I'll show him my bone, all right.
XD#1: What?
XD#2: I'll show him my loan.
XD#1: Extreme!

Man, I really feel like an '80's alternative fan who grumbled as Whitesnake ruled the airwaves, forcing The Replacements and Daniel Johnston to the margins.