Archive for June, 2010

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Hick Hop Hos Throw Down At The Hoedown

[ 2 Comments ]Posted on June 30, 2010 by admin in Music

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

In some magical realm between Kid Rock, Cowboy Troy, and Eminem, a megastar is waiting to be born.

Bubba Sparxxx Hoggin’ The Mic

It may never have occurred to you before just how much gangsta rap and bluegrass have in common. Well, okay. They really don’t have much. Which is why – in spite of a lot of obvious talent and decent production – a project like Gangstagrass ends up lacking the difficult to define “cred” that makes this kind of genre-bending work. You can’t just add fiddles and banjos to your Roland drum beats, rap over it, and call it anything but a novelty. But somewhere out there, in a magical sweet spot somewhere between the contrived posturing of Kid Rock, Cowboy Troy, and Eminem, there’s sure to be the magical formula for the ultimate “Hick Hop”. Country and Rap have roots that have so much in common – lamenting lyrics about bad boys and girls, jail, murder and life’s struggles, and a working class mass market appeal – that it’s amazing this genre hasn’t exploded already. Bubba Sparxxx 2001 hit Ugly (video below) came close, but may have hit the market too early, and may have actually suffered from Timbaland’s high-profile backing. And Boondox might have been a little more interesting if he hadn’t gone so totally “juggalo” under Insane Clown Posse’s tutelage. No, somewhere out there in the back woods or southern hills of America, the rap/hip hop equivalent of the banjo savant genius in “Deliverance” is waiting to be discovered. Read the rest of this entry »

This Fall’s Blockbuster Horror Flick: The Social Network

[ Comments Off ]Posted on June 29, 2010 by admin in Popular Media

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

There are rumors of a Mafia Wars movie too. We hear if you get four friends to join you, admission is free.

I have to admit that when I first heard that they were making a movie about Facebook, my comment was “@Sony: omg ur jk, RITE?”, then I looked for the “Unlike” button, forgetting that real life doesn’t have one. Then I imagined going to see it. The theater would of course require you to log in for admittance. Since you’d be so embarrassed that you were actually going to see it, you’d try a made-up name, and they’d have the gall to accuse you of using up a made-up name, so you’d give up and use your real one. Before the opening scene even began, the film would stop repeatedly, asking you if any of your friends were in the theater, and tossing names and faces on the screen, asking if you knew them. Finally things would get rolling, and for a while you’d really be amazed at how they captured little slices of your friends’ lives for you to watch. That is, until the movie Mafia Wars started appearing on the screen in a little crawl, because your friends were watching it in the next theater and had forgotten to hide it in their settings. And until you realized how banal everyone’s existence was when you could watch it unfold right before your eyes. All the same, you’d walk out of the theater six hours later, saying “DAMN. I only meant to watch an HOUR of it!” You’d swear you’d never watch the thing again as long as you live. Then you’d be disturbed to find yourself suddenly sitting in the theater the very next day. Of course, that would all be much more fun than what you’re going to get if you actually do go watch the movie; the only thing more horrifyingly dull than watching a movie about two annoying nerds who literally changed the face of modern life with their nerdy obsessions would be watching a movie about one annoying nerd who didn’t. Which is why it shouldn’t be surprising that the first trailer for the film (also below) gives the impression that it’s going to be a horror film. Personally, I’m sure I’m going to find the marketing of “The Social Network” much more interesting than the film itself. Especially after today’s blogsplosion about news of another movie, based on Mafia Wars turned out to be untrue, exposing once again one of the big weaknesses of social network driven information. i.e.: the way that it spreads so quickly because it’s driven by content theft that’s driven by traffic whoring and Twitter feeds. [UPDATE: It turns out there actually WILL be a Mafia Wars movie, and admission is free if you can get four friends to go. Spread the word.] Read the rest of this entry »

Just What IS The G20, And Who Is Protesting It?

[ Comments Off ]Posted on June 28, 2010 by admin in Politics

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Judging by the damage done to Starbucks and American Apparel last weekend, the protesters mostly hate crap coffee and hipsters. And is the G20 creating the new world order? Maybe.

Whatever the G20 is up to, it gets their fans
more excited than Detroit Tiger fans in 1984

If you don’t feel like you have a clear idea of what the Group of Twenty really is, you’re not alone. More than half the people randomly surveyed on the streets of New York recently had no idea either. Is it a luxury car? A high-powered handgun? A French supermarket chain? A group of avant-garde Belgian artists? While the answers to all those questions are “yes”, we’re talking about the G20 that met in Toronto over the weekend. And the answer to what that G20 is is a little more complicated. If you’re a little more on the paranoid side, you’re probably convinced that it’s the public face of the mysterious Bilderberg Group, and that it’s an evil cabal engineering the demise of the US Dollar and planning a global currency so that its members (essentially bankers and multibillionaires) can take control of the global economy, and thereby have secret control of all the nations of the world. And who knows; you may be right. In spite of the Group of Twenty’s wall-to-wall media coverage, we still mostly only hear about how much their meetings are being protested, not what they’re actually planning. I personally don’t get a warm tingly feeling about the organization; if you look at the member list, you’ll note that the US representatives are two of the geniuses – Timothy Geithner and Ben Bernanke – that spin back and forth through the revolving doors of Wall Street, the Treasury Department, and the Fed Bank, and can largely be given credit for getting the economy in the mess it’s in in the first place. Which should be reason enough to protest them. But seriously, what are the protesters protesting? Judging by the damage done to Starbucks and American Apparel, they mostly hate crap coffee and hipsters. But this piece on probably sums it up with the least hyperbole I was able to find, and it boils down to this: the G20 is a handful of bankers and world leaders that no-one has asked to get together and decide that they know what’s best for over 6 billion people, and they haven’t shown in the past that they really have anyone’s interest in mind but their own. And who exactly are the protesters? Well, it’s hard to tell, because the Black Bloc strategies used by the more violent ones dominate media coverage, to the extent that the more “wingnut” sources perform in-depth shoe analyses to imply that the black bloc protesters are actually cops. But if you visit a site like, it appears the bulk of the protesters were Toronto-based organizations of women, people of color, indigenous peoples, the poor, the working class, queer and trans people, and disabled people, and that they just may have some legitimate complaints. Read the rest of this entry »

Psychobabble 101

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on June 27, 2010 by admin in Lifestyle & Culture

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

How to disarm your enemies by twisting the meaning of common psychological terms


Have you ever sat wanting to strangle someone for using pseudo-psychological terms as they babble on forever about the people in their life, and when they were finally done, said something like “wow, that’s really insightful”? Sure you have. That’s because you’re so passive aggressive. It’s amazing that with all the therapy going on in America, people seem crazier than ever, and in spite of decades of research and billions of dollars spent, we still turn to Dr Phil, Dr Laura, and Oprah to deal with the problems in our lives. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of all the psychological studies of the last century and the terminology needed to make them sound purposeful is just that – the terminology itself. We now have a plethora of terms to address the common problems that we’ll never actually fix, and using them protects one from scrutiny, because using them gives the impression that one is at least “self-examining” or “exploring their personal growth”. Below is a short list of common psychobabble terms, with examples of their most effective use. If you have one or two of your own, feel free to share. Maybe we’ll discover an unexpected s y n e r g y. Read the rest of this entry »

Clean & Greenbacked: Grants For Green Building

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on June 26, 2010 by admin in Clean & Green

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

I want to live in an off the grid, wired home. And have someone else pay for it.

I decided a few years ago to take the plunge of home ownership, and immediately realized a couple of things. The first was that I would never be happy living in 99% of existing pre-built homes. They’re simply not “green” enough or “wired” enough for my tastes. The second was that I don’t want to live in a building that is simply a big symbol of the decades of debt that lie ahead. My solution? As someone in need of a career change who has worked from a home office for over a decade, the only sensible approach I could see was to make the building of my home a business in itself. I’ve done a lot of casual research over the last two years, and recently decided to hunker down and get to work. First up: FUNDING. The Obama administration campaigned pretty heavily on green issues, so as I research the best locations and building solutions, I’m going to coordinate those plans with as many green building and renewable energy subsidies as possible. To that end, I’ve been compiling some resources, and thought I’d share them here. In upcoming pieces I’ll share information I’ve found on things like wind and solar resource potential by state, and green building resources and strategies. But to get started, below are some government funding resources I’ll be exploring. Please share any resources you may be aware of yourself, I’ll take all the help I can get! Read the rest of this entry »

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