Archive for 2008

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Hear that sucking sound?

[ Comments Off ]Posted on December 2, 2008 by admin in Editorial & Opinion

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

That’s the sound of trillions of imaginary dollars sucking the real dollars out of my bank account. Why is it that in spite of almost everyone I know being either broke or strapped down, laid off or about to be, or at least in a mild panic, that the media keeps kind of saying “hmm, [...]

That’s the sound of trillions of imaginary dollars sucking the real dollars out of my bank account. Why is it that in spite of almost everyone I know being either broke or strapped down, laid off or about to be, or at least in a mild panic, that the media keeps kind of saying “hmm, looks like things could get bad. Are they getting bad? Looks like they might. Check those numbers again. Hmm. Things look kind of bad, but are they really? Let’s go over those figures one more time…” It feels a little like people not really talking too much about Obama being black until the election was over, because they thought it would jinx things or something. The media’s spin on the economy (notice even I didn’t say “economic crisis”?) leaves me feeling like I’m on a huge airliner that’s about to crash. The ride’s still okay, I’ve got my in-flight snack in hand, but I have no idea that any minute now I’ll be dead. Not to worry though, in the big picture: it’ll be a gentle crash in the desert with a few survivors, not a headlong plunge into a mountainside in the jungle. I keep having a fantasy that world leaders will make what I consider a rational leap in thinking and say “You know, this whole money concept is a bit archaic. Getting off the gold standard wasn’t so hard, let’s get off the currency standard. Who needs a silly depression anyway”. That’ll be the day. In the meantime I’ll be rediscovering my best ramen recipes while jerkoffs like Hank Paulson keep figuring out ways to hang onto the extra houses they don’t live in.

Teeth – The Movie

[ 5 Comments ]Posted on December 2, 2008 by admin in Popular Media

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

The Vagina Dentata Club Is Members Only…

Giving “noodles al-dente”
an entirely new meaning.

After seeing writer/director Mitchell Lichtenstein’s Teeth, I’m convinced that director David Cronenberg can peacefully retire, resting comfortably with the knowledge that someone has picked up the torch he dropped a while back. I make the comparison only because in Teeth, Lichtenstein masterfully does something Cronenberg honed to a science: take an implausible premise, and present it so implausibly that the viewer is forced into suspending disbelief against their wishes, almost in the manner of a stage play. In this case, the implausible premise is a virtuous and virginal high school girl who manifests the mythological phenomena Vagina Dentata. Teeth is brilliant because it so artfully misses every mark, and creates its own along the way. It’s a graphic horror film. It’s a coming of age story. It’s a comedy. It’s a cautionary tale about respecting your sexuality. If the film weren’t crafted with such clear intentions to be what it is, it would be one of the worst films ever made. And that’s part of the beauty of what this film does; it feels like it’s somehow self-aware that at any moment it might become incredibly bad, and thereby somehow ends up being quite good. If you hate Cronenberg, you might not care for this film. It’s also briefly rather graphic at points, so if you’re not into seeing the occasional “John Bobbit“, steer clear as well. But if you enjoyed, for instance, the stylish over-the-top-ness of Crash (no, the one based on J.G. Ballard’s novel, not this one) then give it a go. It’s worth it, if only to see the gynecologist screaming “Vagina Dentata! Vagina Dentataha-ha-haaghh!” View the trailer on YouTube or in HD at Apple.

Productivity Inhibitors – The Holiday Edition

[ Comments Off ]Posted on December 1, 2008 by admin in Holidays

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Wanna play Snowcraft? Do you have the balls?

Wanna fight? Make sure you have the balls.

It’s December, and you know what that means. Time to do stupid holiday-themed things on the Internet! Things like advertising for OfficeMax while sending your friends annoying cartoons of your head dancing on an elf’s body. Or spread holiday cheer by wasting twenty minutes of your life uploading headshot photos of you and your friends to Pear Tree Greetings. Apparently even YouTube is getting in on the holiday card action this year . Not feeling like spreading the cheer? You can always turn to other time-honored (and much more fun) holiday time-wasters like Santa TossElf Attack, or my personal fave (I think because of the sound) Snowcraft. And for the weepier, gentler sort, we have Winterbells, where lilting pizzicato strings play in the background while you make a cute snow bunny dance on bells into the sky…

Pitchfork Media Top 50 of 2008

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on November 30, 2008 by admin in Music

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Yet more end of year best of lists

[UPDATED: The list is out!]

What ever will I do with myself until the Pitchfork Media Top 50 list comes out? Although I only agree with their reviews about half the time, I must confess that a lot of my listening of the last couple of years was heavily influenced by their last two lists. I might have encountered, but not slowed down and listen to, any of the following this year without the Pitchfork top 50 list (these are all Amazon links): Okkervil River – The Stage Names; Panda Bear – Person Pitch Arcade Fire – Neon Bible; Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga; Feist – Reminder; Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam; Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer; Stars of the Lid – And Their Refinement of the Decline; The Field – From Here We Go Sublime…and others, actually. Anyone have ideas on how I can ease my dependency on Pitchfork without having to “put on the waders” and trudge through the crap that they call music distribution these days? By “crap that they call music distribution” I mean the commercial sites with the unbearably slow, ad-infested page loads, and glitchy audio players. Bring it on people, my ears are hungry, and the best recommendations always come from other listeners.

Top 10 List of Best of 2008 Lists

[ Comments Off ]Posted on November 30, 2008 by admin in Editorial & Opinion

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Time for the annual list of best of lists…

George Bush Could’ve Benefited
From Better List-making Skills

I like a good list. If I’m going to the store, I make a list. If I have problems, I make a list. Years ago though, a Chinese fellow I worked with said to me “You know, you Americans are funny. Everything has to have a numbered list. Who are the top five teams, what is the best music? Why is this?” I made up some answer about how prioritizing things makes us the most productive country on Earth. He ironically countered with a list of things China invented that makes them great. The Internet is toxic with lists. Why, for instance, are there 22 Most Sensational Midgets ? Why not 10 or 20? The most annoying top-whatever lists are on sites like, where they put one item on each page to generate ad revenue from extra page views. But I digress. It’s that time of year again. Fimoculous will do a decent job of rounding up the top lists of best things in 2008, but their list is a little thin right now. Any suggestions? I’m partial to the longer, larger view, things like The 100 Most Influential Taglines Since 1948 or the Top 10 Reasons Why Sex At The Speed Of Light Is Not An Advisable Form Of Procreation. But I’m open to ideas. Help me out.

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