Friday, July 30, 2010

For days when you are bored at work.

I have seen links like this before, but this seems to be a pretty good one. Straight from boingboing, the "Best Magazine Articles Ever".

Lot's of David Foster Wallace, including the cruise article I talked about a week or so back and one about string theory that I'm certain Evan will get excited about ('s actually about tennis). I also just read the Federer article, which is just about the most thorough description of a sport I've ever read.

I attempted to read one the Tom Wolfe article about Nascar a year or so back, but Tom Wolfe can be really annoying sometimes and I couldn't get more than a few paragraphs in. Even the title of the article is annoying.

And I read this Errol Morris article about stupid people not knowing that they are wrong a month or two back. I think I posted it on my other blog (god, that sounds terrible). Part 2 is is about hysteria and mental disease. Part 3 is about Woodrow Wilson's anosognosia and its consequences. Part 4 is more of the same and Part 5 tries to bring it all back together.

Other than that, I have a lot of reading to do.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Just like Gary Mason but not a completely unintelligible full of shit asshole.

There was a boingboing link to one of David Mitchell's Guardian articles today and I enjoyed it so much that I went back and read a few of them. A memorable line from each...

The boingboing link in question about the burqua ban..."As long as people aren't wearing crotchless jeans outside primary schools or delly boppers with attached sarklers on pertrol station forecourts, we've all got a right to wear exactly what the hell we like and I can barely believe that we're having this debate."

This one about Rupert Murdoch, blogging, media and all sorts of other things. I don't have a moneyshot for this one.

I'm not actually sure what his point is here...but I'm sold by anything with a line like "In the middle ages, having a candle, a bowl of gruel and a roof migh have felt like party night."

It's all pretty great stuff.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Wolf Parade Post

I feel like everywhere I turn today, it's all Wolf Parade.

The Tyee.

Exclaim! (Look at how fat Spencer Looks!)

Okay. Only two articles. But stumbling upon two articles in the span of an hour or two makes it feel like it's everywhere. So I have a few points to make about Wolf Parade.

1) Andrea and I talked about this a few days ago when I posted about classic rock cruises. I was on the fence then, but now I'm certain that in 20 years I hope it is Wolf Parade that decides to put together a cruise for nostalgic losers. I think that they could really fill a week up with all of their side projects and that I could really enjoy that between trips to the buffet.

2) Wolf Parade play the Vogue on Sunday night. I think we have seats a few rows back from the front. That feels really weird to say.

3) Expo 86 hasn't really blasted me in the face with musical happiness. It's solid, but I'm still trying to decide what I really think about it. However, the final two songs Yulia and Cave-O-Sapien really do it for me. Catchy in their simplicity.

4) I am neither a Dan nor a Spencer guy. Honestly, how can you pick? Yulia is Dan, Cave-O-Sapien is Spencer. Modern World is Dan, Father's Son is Spencer. On it goes. How do you choose? I would imagine that Dan has lots of leather and skull paintings in his home while Spencer has lots of drawings and books.

5) I hope that Evan can fill the comments section below with tales of his brother doing stupid things that are subtly related to Wolf Parade and its members.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010



in its heart of hearts, wanted to be this--

but wound up basically being this:


Friday, July 16, 2010

A rock critic that you want to read

So this guy, Robert Christgau, is apparently calling it quits after a long career of music writing. I started flipping through the pages on his janky looking site, and he's kind of amazing. In the sense that he's an amazing writer, first of all, but he's also mostly right most of the time. You should check out his piece on "avant-punk." He basically defines all the bands that led up to punk happening in the late 70s. The list is pretty standard now: Velvets, Iggy, MC5, Modern Lovers, etc. But the thing is, he wrote that piece in 1977. So here's a guy who saw through punk's so-called reinvention of rock when it was happening. That's points. Big points.

Anyway. You guys have any rock critics you think are worth following?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Books are sometimes hard

I have several books that I've tried reading over the last few years but just can't make it over the beginning hump. Gravity's Rainbow is the worst one for me. I've started that thing at least two or three times but I can't make it past the first quarter. I've also started David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest and just been unable to push on through. I will try both of these again, but when this happens, I feel sad and dumb.

I enjoy reading but I'm seldom looking for (or seeing) a deeper meaning or theme. I like a good story and these books make me feel like I'm not smart enough to get it.

So I've been reading a fair amount of Chuck Klosterman lately. Eating the Dinosaur is remarkably current and I very much enjoyed it. Sex, Drugs and Coco Puffs didn't quite do it for me. None of the topics were very near to me so it didn't resonate. I'm on to IV and it's really quite fabulous.

One essay/article/piece has been especially captivating for me over the last few days. He writes about his experience on a Styx/REO Speedwagon/Journey themed cruise. It reminds me of an article I read a few years ago about a similar Barenaked Ladies themed cruise. It got me wondering...

Twenty years from now, which current bands are going to be playing at suburban casinos and hosting themed cruises? Is my future self going to be interested in something like that? What band would force me to take part in something like this? What's the next frontier for washed up musicians?

Anyhow, in Klosterman's essay he references a David Foster Wallace essay about a week-long cruise. I just finished reading it. It's so oddly descriptive. It's an amazing(ly long) read. It also makes me imagine David Foster Wallace on a cruise, holed up in his room, standing in strange places observing everybody, just being an all-around pale skinned weirdo. I think that if one had encountered him in real life he would have come across as a person too strange to befriend. Like the weird guy in your high school that didn't talk to anybody, wore lots of black and spent most of his time writing in his notebook (actually, I was pretty good friends with a guy like this. He didn't wear black though). It's a shame, really.

How Entourage could make your girlfriend/wife/partner just a little nicer

O.K., I'm still on the Entourage kick a bit. Besides helping me see Homies in a new light, I think Entourage is the best show to watch with your girlfriend/wife/partner to see the relationship between Ari Gold and Mrs. Gold. In short, I think Mrs. Gold is a sexy Mother Teresa and a role model for women everywhere.

So, why this show could be good for you and your significant other? Because Ari is an asshole. Huge asshole. But his wife is cool with him, and no matter how bad "you" could be, you couldn't be as big an asshole as Ari Gold. So when you are acting like a dick around your girlfriend/wife/partner, if you watch enough Entourage together you might get her thinking "Wow, he's being an ass, but it could be worse. He could be as bad as Ari Gold, and his wife is fine with him. I wonder if other women act like Ari Gold's wife? I bet they do. I think I'll let that comment slide."

This would be the start of a whole chain reaction where we, as men, can push that boundary and get away with more and more and more. As long as Mrs. Gold keeps acting calm, and smiles, and looks hot as hell, more women will see that as the norm and change their ways. Gentlemen, time to introduce the ladies/partners to Entourage.

How Entourage and Jersey Shore made me a better person

I have been totally hooked on Entourage for the last month or two, watching all the old episodes via tvshack. Before that I did the same with Jersey Shore.

All this TV got me thinking about how these shows have changed my perception of 1) homies that wear pajamas and sideways ballcaps, and 2) Guidos. Before these shows, I HATED people like Turtle or "The Situation" or Ronnie with a passion, particularly Guidos. Very strange since I love most things Italian (cuisine, Vespas, cars). Off topic a bit, but I find it's the same with the French Canadians. As a group, I generally hate French people but I like the cuisine. That's a different story; back to Guidos and Turtle.

So, after watching Entourage and Jersey Shore, I wish I had a bunch of buddies like Turtle or "The Situation" (scratch Vinnie, he's a little bitch). I find myself being more open to guys like this when I'm at the gym or playing ball. Somehow I started saying 'Bro' and 'yo' all the time, and I like it. I find myself not " hatin' " so much, and just rolling with it. Weird how a TV show could do this to a person.

Anyway, I have a new respect for Guidos, for Guidos chicks, for dudes who wear pajamas and sideways hats. All I need now is a French Entourage instead of one of those awful TV shows where French Canadians just make stupid faces all the time.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mechanically Blended, Soft-Serve Ice Cream Confectionary Treat

If you've watched TV over the last two months, you've seen an ad for the Dairy Queen Blizzard. I quite liked the first one, I think mainly because the idea was fresh. I also just figured out that the Dad played his "yelling man" character in past Dairy Queen ads.

I completely forgot about the second one, with the clown. It kind of sucked.

And the third one just stretches the concept out way too thin.

But even though the idea is getting a bit annoying and stale, every time I see one of these ads I have to mentally restrain myself from getting in my car and going to buy a Blizzard. I don't want ice cream. I don't want a Frosty. I want a Blizzard. An Orea Blizzard specifically. Immediately. As large as I possibly can carry.

I think these ads have resulted in my buying exactly one small Blizzard in the last month, but this is only due to my insanely strong willpower. A weaker being would crumble and be up a good 15-20 pounds. Why are these ads so effective? Are they effective, or could you just show a video of a Blizzard for 30 seconds and get the same results? Does anybody else feel this way?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sure it's culture. It's on the internet.

You ask for more posts, this is what you get.

David Harvey is a leading Marxist geographer who writes about economics. He's been lecturing about the crisis since before it started, and counts as one of the genuine canary-in-the-coal-mine figures out there, who saw everything coming years ago. This is one of his recent lectures, but someone decided to animate it. It's been making the academic rounds this week.

Two things here: all university lectures should be animated. Departments should hire full time animators to stand at the front of the room and draw. Second, I think Harvey's the only guy making sense of what's happening out there right now. The transfer of crisis from the financial sphere (2007-09) to a national economies (2010- )is where we're at, now that the banks have been bailed out and are making money again. And it's a big problem that isn't going away. Welcome to the double dip.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Internet is fun!

First up, I kind of like Formula 1. It's kind of a soap opera, that drags out for a few months and features really fast cars. But I think a fan back in the 70's had more to cheer for. Check out this video of Gilles Villeneuve. It's like a Monty Python sketch. Look at him wave at the crowd as he drives around with his rear wheel trailing behind him. Listen to the crazed announcer. It's amazing madness. I love how everybody is really excited that he could have killed them all. That's what is lacking in society today. A sense of danger.

Next, I've been away for a few days, so I think I missed the original posting. But this video about the HTC phone vs. the iPhone makes me cry it's so fantastic. I was more impressed when I thought the guy that created it had animated it himself and just used some kind of text-to-speech software to create the dialogue. That he just typed some shit into a website and this video popped out makes it a bit less impressive. But I'm inspired, nevertheless.

Incidentally. What are you guys up to? Evan, you seemed to be off to a promising start. Now...what? JD has at least started his second posting. He seems to have lost his train of thought, probably due to his cat finding a ball of yarn, but at least he's started something. Tell us a cat story, JD. I know you have many.