Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Goodbye Movember

It was good while it lasted.

Especially for this guy:


December/winter/depression starts in 5 minutes...

On A Lighter Note... Cheerleaders.

CNBC compiled a list of what they consider to be the NFL's 10 ''Best Cheerleading Squads'', only they chose to celebrate those with the largest sponsorship deals and biggest internet presence (and availability of pictures on their websites) rather than the (more obvious) most talented or best-looking...

And yet they use the classic ''slide'' presentation to list them, with pictures of the girls in less-than-businesslike positions, such as this one:


I, for one, do consider these women athletes as well as entertainers. But I don't hide behind some fake-economic calculus to rate them: can they jump? How dynamic are they? Nice team colours and an inventive - and hopefully classy - way to wear them? Are they internationally renowned and respected? How diverse are their routines? You know: the basics.

Let us all remember that if economics were always right, the New York Rangers would be the best hockey team, the Backstreet Boys would be the best band ever, and Madonna would matter.

Guns And Santa

The Holidays are fast approaching, and many cultures are going to celebrate them in their own ways, whether it's Hanukkah, the birth of Christ, or just Santa Claus bring presents.

Presents, and guns.


Heavy fucking guns, at that.

Basically, it's an Arizona gun club (the Scottsdale Gun Club, to be precise) who is offering ''children and families'' (uh huh) the chance to pose with Santa and heavy artillery.

The gun club's general manager, Ron Kennedy, had this to say:
Our customers have been looking for a fun and safe way to express their holiday spirit and passion for firearms.
They use these as Christmas cards and Facebook profile pictures - of course!

State Representative Steve Farley had this to retort, in protest:
To involve machine guns and Santa in a celebration in the birth of Jesus Christ is the worst kind of heresy I can imagine. I would suggest that the people who created this read some of the New Testament.
Because the Bible is shock-full of guns, of course. Probably in the same chapters where homosexuality and abortion are referred to.

Eitehr this is a ''the only way to deal with stupid people is with stupidity'' moment, or it's one for the ages for the ''why Humans will soon be extinct'' file.

Sigh.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

R.I.P. Patrice O'Neal



After suffering a stroke in October, stand-up comedian Patrice O'Neal died today, succombing to a long, hard struggle with diabetes.

I last saw him in The Comedy Central Roast Of Charlie Sheen, and he alluded briefly to his disease, but I didn't think it was that serious.

I need to get tested. Soon.

Did you know that in Canada, 25% of diabetics are unaware they even have it?

Someone Please Explain To Me...

Who the fuck is Courtney Stodden? And why does it matter what she wears?



I should have left it alone, I really should have... but here is what I've learned through 5 seconds of Google:


Alright. So she’s a 17 year-old aspiring model/actress/singer. Like so many others.

Except she’s been married to small-time actor Doug Hutchison (small roles in The Green Mile and 24, played ''plane door opener'' in the 2000 remake of Shaft…), who is 51. since she was 16. Uh-huh, yeah: gross.

But the dude has morals: he refused to play in a movie that would cast him as a director who starts banging his underage actress in The Genesis Of Lincoln. Classy move, no?

But at least Courtney looks 37.

Still, a nobody actor and a nobody actress walk down a street, and people are focusing on what they’re wearing? Why? Who gives a fuck? And why does it make it onto the fucking news?

Where is this world headed, and how can we make the extinction of mankind happen any faster?

Monday, November 28, 2011

R.I.P. Ken Russell




It was bound to happen some day...

British film director Ken Russell - who brought us such movies as Tommy (1975), Whore (1991) and Women In Love (1969) - has indeed passed away, at age 84.

He was often under-rated because while he aimed for a rather intellectual cinema, he had an obsession with displaying vivid, crude sex scenes, many of them of the homosexual persuasion or featuring religious figures (nuns, for one).

But a storyteller is a storyteller, and he was a good one.

Friday, November 25, 2011

When Bad Cops Become Oh So Good.




His name is John Pike. He is a lieutenant in the UC Davis police force in Oakland.

He is now a web meme.

Demi Moore Is Single Again



It's true, the talented beauty is getting a divorce.

Ah, Demi Moore. One of my childhood fantasies. Who knew I had a better shot when I was a child? (I kid, I kid)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Video Of The Week: The Ting Tings

We are in the age of studio bands and computer-made music - and I don't mean in the Motown or Kraftwerk variety, either. Even the crappy acts are catchy as hell, and it's hard to make your mind up about what is good and what isn't, except to go with your gut and look for what feels real.

And I don't profess to know where to put The Ting Tings in the grand scheme of things, either, but I've had this song in my head all day and, thus, plan on infecting you as well.

A British, studio-born ''band'' of two - Katie White and Jules de Martino - both multi-intrumentalists, at least - are a singles-led act, primarily. Indeed, they released 3 singles before their debut album was even finished, including this massive hit song from May 28th, 2007; it would make it to the top (yes, #1) of the U.K. charts on May 18th... 2008. The album itself, We Started Nothing, was released on May 16th, 2008. They have already released two singles (Hands in 2010 and Hang It Up in 2011) for a record that may come out in 2012.


Best Movie Poster Ever?




 Certainly the busiest. And the one with the most 1980s action stars on it.

Could use some Ving Rhames, Timothy Dalton, Samuel L. Jackson, George Clooney and Milla Jovovich, for some 90s feel (and some Kiefer Sutherland and Matt Damon for a 00s touch), but, uh, on a budget, a schedule and a plot - hopefully - it is quite the feat.

Happy Thanksgiving

                                               (thanks to Yan Basque for the picture)


... if that's how you say it. Sounds weird to be all giddy about giving thanks and being grateful.

But enjoy the turkey, my American friends.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Will Kat Dennings Save TV?




Talk about putting pressure on yourself...

The wonderful Kat Dennings, now starring in the TV sitcom 2 Broke Girls, claims:
The show's not just a ha-ha machine. I grew up watching The Golden Girls, The Nanny – I want to bring the sitcom back.
Big words for such a reclusive young girl. Then again, she's not that reclusive. But at 25, we won't hold any of that against her.

And in an era when many decent TV shows such as Pan Am and Parks & Recreation are probably doomed to disappear because dumb TV execs don't factor in TiVo recordings nor DVD/Blu-ray sales when counting a series' viewership, audience numbers are seemingly stalling.

But as fine shows such as Arrested Development and My Name Is Earl have shown, network bosses have no idea how today's fans react and how passionate they can be. I hope 2 Broke Girls finds its niche.

I, For One, Could Never Pay That Fine



The Samoa rugby team manager Tuala Matthew Vaea - infamous for his borderline-tolerable behaviour - was fined for his antics during the last World Cup:

100 pigs.

I wonder if he already owns them or if he'll have to purchase them, then hand them away.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Popularity Of Congress




At three times less than fuckin' Richard Nixon during Watergate and fucking banks; twice lower than BP during the oil spill (!) and Paris Hilton (!!); tied with Hugo Chavez and 4 percentage points ahead of Fidel Castro (further proof that Americans know nothing about international politics...), Congress has never been less popular.

Good.

Oklahoma State And The Number 10 (R.I.P.)




10 months after Oklahoma State commemorated the 10-year anniversary of a plane crash that killed 10 men associated with the school's men's basketball program, another plane crash killed its women's team's head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna.

I'd say the irony is killing me, but I'm not going to tempt Fate on this one.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

United Colours Of Irrelevance



Ooh, man-on-man love. How daring, risqué, original, fun.

Ooh, religious leaders - and definitely not religious icons.

Ooh, a brand that hasn't mattered in 20 years.

There's a reason why it took me two days to report on it: I truly, honestly didn't give a fuck about it. But it seems the internet isn't quick enough, and some people still hadn't seen it. You're welcome.

Now, on to more important stuff.

Small-Town Problems




You know you live in a small town when this kind of story makes the news...

I'd go if not for the fact that I know nothing of pianos.

The Penn State Affair




In the football-and-pedophelia scandal I mentioned last week, like in most major cases nowadays, prosecutors went public with their evidence, in an obvious attempt to sway public opinioon - as if they even needed to.

Sports Illustrated gives us an inside look with an in-depth 3-page report on the matter that leaves chills in your spine. Well, mine anyway.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Video Of The Week: Priestess

Priestess was formed in 2003 when Mikey Heppner's bandmates in The Dropouts left for New York to form The Stills, a move that was probably best for all, as The Stills may have been a little too quiet for Heppner's tastes - as proven by his current side-project, the amazing Uncle Bad Touch.

The riffage provided by guitarist Dan Watchorn and bassist Mike Dyball, as well as the pounding from drummer Vince Nudo provide a unique sound-space even in the stoner-rock genre where Heppner can flex his songwriting skills to levels of experimentation where his former band couldn't - and we're all the happier for it.

It's funny that it took an international release and a Guitar Hero game for them to get the hometown respect they deserve, but at least they're there now. Apparently, work has started on their third record; if it came out in 2012, it would follow the band's pattern of releasing a new album every three years, after Hello Master (2006) and Prior To The Fire (2009).


Blast From The Past: jraff's Poster For Raw Madonna's UnPop 2010 Show

Just happened to fall on jraff's blog page showing off his amazing UnPop 2010 poster:



 I am blessed to have so many generous, talented friends. Truly.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Off To See The Rum Diary




''That’s gibberish!'', I said, when the woman asked me for ten bucks in exchange for some gelatin candy.

But I paid anyway. I needed the sweets to bring to the movie theatre, where I’m finally set to watch The Rum Diary tonight, after six unsuccessful tries/dates.

I’ve been waiting for years to see this fucking film, before the book was even fucking released – Hunter S. Thompson had been writing about it for years, having tried to have it published since the 1960s.

And who better to play Thompson’s alter ego (he’s never referred to by his own name in any of his books, a trick Charles Bukowski was also very fond of) than fucking Johnny Depp, who did a bang-up job in Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas?

Rum is where the journalistic story starts, in Puerto Rico. Constant drinking, before the drug use. I’m off. Wish me luck.


edit: here's what I'm talking about:


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Video Of The (Past) Week: Soul Coughing

This one's a little unusual: Soul Coughing are one of my all-time favourite bands... but also one I always forget about. I forget to mention them when I list my favourite bands, sure, but I also always to forget to just listen to them.

To make matters worse, they don't have their own YouTube channel, so the one time I remember to mention them on here, I can't get an official video with decent sound. So crank up your speakers and enjoy this jazz/indie-rock hybrid in... one of their least hybrid songs. Oh well!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Career-Altering Mistakes



It had been a while since a page from Cracked.com made me laugh this much.

Here, they list 5 film celebs who have made dramatic mistakes that have forever altered their careers. I agree with just about everything - except omitting Delirious in Eddie Murphy's credits.

Everyone Likes A Good Yarn




Les Ville-Laines are a group of like-minded ladies who practice the art of yarnbombing - public knitting followed by displaying their creations on public property.

Yesterday, they did so at Viger Square, a place many homeless people call home. They also brought them blankets.

My friend Eli Larin, photographer, documented the event.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Choices





I’m so fucking tired today. Merely in the afternoon and it feels like 1 AM.

Fatigue and drowsiness remain despite all the caffeine drinks.

And I’m made all the more tired by the woman sharing my office for the day, who just talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks and talks.

She will not shut up as long as she’s alive.

And it’s taking all my energy to ignore her and keep concentrating on what I have to do.

Ninth floor. Steep fall.

Choices.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cabbage Patch Steven Tyler

When artists get their own dolls, it usually means they're having the honour of having Todd McFarlane making one of his hyper-realistic toys.

Not Steven Tyler.

He's going to be... a fucking Cabbage Patch Kid:

If, like me, you have trouble identifying him, he's the one... in the middle. The white-trash prostitute with the brown hair and blonde streaks dressed like Elvis-meets-cowboy. Wow.

The Ever-Quotable Lou Reed




Remember when Lou Reed said his album with Metallica was the best thing ever created? It turns out most people don't agree; some actually feel it's the worst thing ever made. My favourite quote is from a user named lainso:

It made me want to illegally download it, then not listen to it.
Some Metallica fans want to go even further: Reed was told a few of them wanted to kill him:
[They] are threatening to shoot me, and that’s only because I showed up,” Reed said. “They haven’t even heard the record yet, and they’re recommending various forms of torture and death.
Then again, while Rolling Stone gave the record 3/5 stars, their readers gave it a 1; NME went as far as giving it a 7/10; but most sites seem to agree with the line of thought displayed by Pitchfork: 1/10.

Daniel Snyder from The Atlantic even longs for the days when Metallica was at its best merely selling out. Ouch.

Looks like Reed made another Metal Machine Music - only this time, it wasn't intentionally unlistenable.

By the way, I give it a 3/10, myself. And I loved Metal Machine Music.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

R.I.P. Heavy D




Barely a month after performing the closing song at the BET Awards, Heavy D - a 1980s and early 1990s rap icon - died in a Los Angeles-area hospital after passing out, then re-awakening on the sidewalk near his home.

He was 44.

A hip hop hitmaker ('Now That We Found Love' should ring a bell), he had also had a small role in Eddie Murphy's current movie flop, The Tower Heist.

Bad Music Will Kill Your Mojo




I often post about how bad music is detrimental to society - more than any other art and, in the Western world, more than perhaps even politics and the environment. I even did so just a few days ago.

Indeed, to some extent Nickelback is as bad as a right-wing religious zealot, although they do seem to cancel each other out, as while the latter does its best to deter abortions, the former is a deterrent to making babies, as is proven in this study.

The poodle-haired frontman and his douchebag-looking cronies partners employees (see picture above) seem to strike a mighty chord on all fronts - love 'em or hate 'em, I guess.

Guess which side I'm on? I'd rather not get laid for a year than fuck one of their record-purchasing, concert-attending fans. I think.

Who else are people turned off by? Allow me to quote the article:
What other musicians and bands did the poll reveal are likely to make a potential amour shake, rattle and roll right out the door on the first date? In order of their horror-inducing power: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Coldplay, U2, Creed, Katy Perry, Lil Wayne and Britney Spears.
I totally agree with the first 4, and would put Creed above and beyond even Nickelback, but while I don't listen to the other 4 (U2, Perry, Wayne and Spears), I think putting them in here is a tad exaggerated.
I'd put Maroon 5 in there, for sure, way ahead of them, perhaps with Bush and Linkin Park.

Monday, November 7, 2011

How To Abuse Trust. And Children.




Yet another proof that there's often a treacherous, filthy reason behind Conservatives - particularly Republican-voting or -inspired - ''helping out'' or passing ridiculous, over-reaching laws: a former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky is accused of raping 8 boys between 1994 and 2009, through his charity for ''at risk'' kids The Second Mile.

The ''beauty'' of raping an ''at risk'' kid is that if it all goes to shit and only this kid goes to the authorities, it can be wiped under the rug, as the ''troubled teen'' is up against the ''respected elder gentleman'' in a battle over whose word is to be believed. The pervert usually wins.

But when it comes to 8, and no one took the allegations seriously enough to investigate deeper, all involved in the cover-up get treated the same way as the pedophile. And rightly so. And then it goes to court, and it's Hell to pay.

Which means one bad apple can ruin all of his victims' lives, his family (say, if he's married with kids of his own), and the lives and careers of those who stood up for and defended him. That's a lot to fucking answer for. Don't these selfish fucking scumbags realize they're ruining everybody's fucking lives?

I keep telling myself Sandusky is innocent until proven guilty. But when he is found guilty, I'll find myself wishing he'll be locked up with other sexual abusers, and maybe they can help each other out, either by sorting their issues through council - or, perhaps more probably, by fucking each other to death.

But these stories are becoming routine, which in turn makes me doubt the motivations behind everyone's moves in Society, question their honesty, their integrity, look for a dark, hidden meaning behind the appearance of a good deed. And that's not even getting into those in a similar position of power (politics, religion) who use ideology to cleanse the world of what they publicly call ''sinners'' when they, themselves, are far worse than what they aim to outlaw.

Call me cynical, but I'm starting to believe I'm the only one human being who isn't broken, morally. I know that, technically, good people can do bad things and vice versa, that, in general, We Are The 99% That Aren't Too Fucked In The Head. I just fail to see it in Life.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yoga And Mark Driscoll




I came across a funny blog today called Def Shepherd; it seems to be mainly about religion - or anti-religious. Or something.

I particularly like this post about Mark Driscoll, the idiot pastor who said ''masturbation is homosexuality'', to which I replied, in my Facebook status that day, ''I guess I am pretty much gay for myself''. I know, not my best line, but still...

This time, Driscoll claims ''yoga is demonic''...

If there is a God, I predict He/She/It will have a pretty good laugh at Driscoll's expense when he makes it to the heavenly gates, right before kicking his sorry ass all the way to purgatory. - or wherever fucking idiots are sent.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Say 'No' To Nickelback




Ah, Nickleback.

The Canadian band led by poodle-haired and cowboy-legged frontman Chad Kroeger, which has had up to three Kroegers at once in the band, which Billboard claimed was the band of the 00s for album sales over 50 million - 10 million more than U2, its runner-up - is universally hated more than it is loved. That is a fact, albeit one known only to those who pay attention - and people with ears.

I understand how money-hungry companies might think having a 50 million record-selling band play at their half-time might seem like a good idea - we're talking U2 numbers, Madonna numbers, Metallica numbers, Mariah Carey numbers. Huge fucking numbers.

But none of the afore-mentioned acts have as many haters as the poorly-named Alberta bland band who sound like they combined the worst elements of Metallica and Soundgarden and turned it into an over-compressed pile of dog shit fit for ads about cheap trucks (''Someday''), or old people homes (''How You Remind Me'').

Which brings me to this: after an open letter to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman begging to not have Nickelback play a show celebrating the return of the Winnipeg Jets, football fans have launched a petition to have the Detroit Lions rescind their invitation to have the band play their half-time show on Thanksgiving Day.

I hope they win.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Texas Justice

Have you heard of Texas judge William Adams?

His job, at times, require he pass judgement on cases in which adults abuse minors, be it physically, sexually or morally. But as is often the case with hardcore Conservatives, in the confines of his own fucking home, Judge Adams beats his own kid. A girl, named Hillary Adams.

Here he is beating her 17 times with a fucking belt, seven years ago - Hillary was 16. It wasn't the first nor last time, but she did film it secretly. Warning: these are troubling fucking images.



That, my friends, was her punishment... for illegally downloading music on the internet.

I said it before and I'll probably have to say it again, but people in a position of authority in our society should be punished twice as long for having been hypocrites when they, themselves, do what they set out to eliminate.

On the other hand, Texas is known for having no remorse when giving retarded teenagers the death penalty; this retarded man is lookin' for a hangin'.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Video Of The Week: Laura Branigan

Although many people know her mainly for 1982's Gloria, a cover of an Italian song by Umberto Tozzi (not the Patti Smith song) whose 36-week reign on the charts made it part of all best-of compilations for both 1982 and 1983, I strongly prefer Laura Branigan's Self Control, her 1984 smash.

She was also featured on the soundtracks of both Flashdance and Ghostbusters, sealing her fate as one of the 1980s' most popular solo artists, alongside Samantha Fox, Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson. The 1990s, however, weren't kind to her, starting with her version of the song Unison, released the same year by Céline Dion as her English-language debut - guess who got more media exposure with it?

Branigan died in her home in 2004, the result of an untreated brain aneurysm.

What  I like about this song, perhaps even more than the fact that it's beyond catchy is its construction - take, for instance, the ''oh, oh, oh'' part, at first a bridge onto itself in the song, then incorporated into the backing part of the chorus, and perhaps the song's most memorable part to boot.


Occupying Montréal

My friend, professional poker player and photographer Jamie Klinger is quoted in this short report about the Occupy Movement's Montréal demonstration.

These people seem like they're in it for the long haul. Winter's fast approaching, I don't think I have their courage.