Archive for April, 2009

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Bored This Sunday? Why Not Go To Church?

[ Comments Off ]Posted on April 26, 2009 by admin in Editorial & Opinion

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Even you faithless hordes should have SOMETHING to get you out of bed on Sunday.

After finally watching Religulousthe other night with a friend, I had yet another idol de-mystified. I always had a little respect for Bill Maher, but in my opinion, he not only missed the mark in a number of ways with the film, he also revealed himself to be a condescending redneck-basher who needs to talk to his therapist more about his religious upbringing. But I’m neither a film critic nor a psychologist. I’m just here to help you kill some time. We used to go to church on Sunday for that reason, but now we have cable TV, Facebook, and Wii. So my objective to today is to get you to go to church. Which can be difficult, with all you non-adherents running about. I say “non-adherents” because you silly atheists reading this comprise less than one half of one percent of the world’s population, but the term “non-adherents” bumps the number of faithless hordes up to around 13% and helps make you relevant. So anyway, lets start with a church that comes close to the mind-numbing self-contradictions of the more established religions, The Church of the SubGenius. All I’m going to say is “Bob”. Remember: Praise His Sweet Name — OR BURN IN SLACKLESSNESS TRYING NOT TO! You’ll notice, by the way, that there’s a Google search box at the top of that site. Why? Because Google Is God. C’mon. You had sort of suspected it, hadn’t you? All this time we were worried that the Internet would someday become self-aware, and it turns out it was God all along. And lastly, we assume (since you apparently spend enough time on the Internet to be reading this tripe) that you’re familiar with both the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Church of Jedi, so we’ll spare you more commentary. Do you know of any amusing alternatives to mainstream religion? I mean, besides the ones routinely lampooned on South Park?

Sofa Surfing USA

[ Comments Off ]Posted on April 25, 2009 by admin in Lifestyle & Culture

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

I’m working on a project that I hope to spin into a book and/or documentary. Do you have a sofa I can sleep on for 3-4 days?

I’m not sure if it’s the recent economic situation, or my general ongoing distaste for reality, but lately I keep fantasizing about becoming a freegan (even job sites are getting hip to this) or a hobo. I’ve actually discussed going to live this way as  part of a documentary project, but ironically one of  the parties most interested in that idea works for a TV station that’s being shut down because of the tough economic times! The fact is that if I chose to live on the road, I’d probably start whining about the coffee and laundry facilities after about three weeks. So lately, I’ve been thinking more along the lines of “sofa surfing”. And apparently I’m not the only one. CouchSurfing.com, for instance, has 1,084,323 “surfers”, and claims to be “Creating a Better World, One Couch At A Time”. Noble of them. Also with the aim of creating a better world (although they don’t specifically promise you the couch) HospitalityClub.org operates along similar lines. And if you’re in a band, there’s BetterThanTheVan.com, which at a quick glance looks more like “Stay-At-My-Place-Im-A-Desperate-Groupie.com”. Personally, that all looks a little too structured for me. I’m just gonna put it out there: can you put me up for 3-4 days and show me your city? If I can get a solid string of commitments, I’m writing a book and pursuing a publishing deal. And if I don’t get a publishing deal, I’ll self-publish through Blurb.com or something. To show a little commitment, I actually just bought the domain SofaSurfingUSA.com. If you’re interested in my little project, just contact me. Surfs Up!

R.I.P. GeoCities

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on April 24, 2009 by admin in Editorial & Opinion

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Honey, the Beanie Babies web ring won’t load today!

Before MySpace, before Facebook, there was GeoCities. I was surprised, when talking to Internet-addicted friends yesterday, at how few of them remembered the original web-based community for creating your own “home page”. Remember when the average person felt the terms “home page” and “web site” were interchangeable? What I had forgotten was what Yahoo paid for Geocities back in 1999: 3 billion dollars. That’s a billion dollars more than Google paid for YouTube, and it was ten years ago! You don’t need to be a web developer to realize it was the animated glitter unicorns and dancing Homer Simpson graphics that were part of Geocities demise. But in spite of how of easy it was to poke fun at Geocities, the fact is that the biggest difference between it and MySpace was, frankly, marketing. R.I.P., Geocities

Viva La Jaydiohead – Jay-Z Meets Radiohead

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on April 23, 2009 by admin in Music

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

DJ Minty Fresh Beats’ Amazingly Listenable Mashup of Jay-Z & Radiohead

What’s black and white and comes in rainbows? A pair of brilliant mashups of Jay Z’s Black Album. If you missed Danger Mouse’s 2004 Mashup The Grey Album, try to get a copy (Illegal-Art.org has a torrent link). It’s a masterful mashup of The Beatles’ White Album and Jay-Z’s Black Album. The legal fuss that EMI created  at the time probably only served to promote the release, as did the clever Grey Video that repurposed original black-and-white footage from a 60′s Beatles concert. Since then there have been a few other attempts at mashing up Jay-Z, like OJAYZIS (Jay-Z vs Oasis)  or Viva la Hova, a mash with Coldplay’s Viva la Vida. But none have been quite as listenable as this year’s Jaydiohead produced by NYC DJ Minty Fresh Beats (who’s apparently since re-branded himself as Max Tannone). Hail to the Thief!

J.G. Ballard 1930-2009

[ Comments Off ]Posted on April 22, 2009 by admin in Popular Media

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

One of my few heroes passes away…

I read very little fiction, and when I do, I’m drawn to either the thousands of classics I still haven’t read, or the less-conventional in contemporary fiction, like Salman Rushdie, Will Self, Martin Amis, or Michael Brodsky. Which is why I’m rather saddened by the recent passing of J.G. Ballard . Ballard is best known for his novels Crash and Empire of the Sun because they were both made into films (two of my favorite films, coincidentally). I remember when I first read Crash; I was told of the premise, and started reading it with considerable doubts about whether its premise of “auto crash eroticism” could work. To my surprise, about thirty pages into it, I found myself wanting to go crash a car myself, just for the sexual gratification! His use of words can be so compelling that unthinkable things can become thinkable. Which is for me a big part of the appeal of Ballard’s writing. As Martin Amis once put it: “Ballard is quite unlike anyone else; indeed, he seems to address a different – a disused – part of the reader’s brain.” As an occasional writer myself, the 2004 Times Online piece J.G. Ballard: How I Write was kind of an inspiration to me as a person who often writes longhand, and it also inspired me to write daily, and with a little discipline. Aside from a considerable body of work in the form of novels and short stories, Ballard also unrelentingly expressed clever insights about contemporary culture. One of my favorites is his observation (in the preface of the 1990 edition The Atrocity Exhibition): “…it struck me that Reagan was the first politician to exploit the fact that his TV audience would not be listening too closely, if at all, to what he was saying, and indeed might well assume from his manner and presentation that he was saying the exact opposite of the words actually emerging from his mouth“. Although he was referring to the Ronald Reagan who had eventually become president in 1980, the observation was made in response to a question about his short work Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan which was written in 1967.

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