Wednesday, October 28

Jedi Career Trick

So earlier today I was catching up over at Oh Hell Nawl, laughing at the articles and scrolling down through the comments when I caught sight of this:
I apologize if it's hard to make out the details, but I wanted you all to get the full effect of what I saw, in all it's shrunken-down glory. In case you want to compare -- here's what the movie poster looks like blown up to its full size.
Now I'm no Photoshop expert, but unless Idris Elba is wearing a custom made black shirt and white suit jacket combo design that's been silk screened with an image of Hayden Christensen's face that just happens to be located in the exact same spot where the actual Hayden Christensen happens to be sitting -- someone needs get fired ass fired.

In fact, when you get a decent look at the full size poster, both Paul Walker's and TI's heads seem like they've been cut and pasted onto those bodies, begging the question -- Is this an actual movie, or just the newest in the long line of increasingly lame "elf-yourself" flash website jokes that tend to pop up a lot during the holidays?

Unfortunately, that question can easily be answered because once upon a time there was a bit of hype growing around this flick because it was supposed to mark the film debut of a rising star named of Chris Brown -- who hadn't quite gotten around to beating up Rhianna yet at the time this poster was being made.

As far as I can tell the movie's still scheduled to hit the screens in February, although it remains to be seen how the PR spin on the whole thing will be once they start hyping it for real somewhere around Christmas.
All that aside -- I have a few questions:
  1. Hey Anakin, whats with the hat?
  2. Is it actually fashionable these days to pair a black turtleneck sweater underneath a shirt and tie combo when wearing a suit jacket, because I gotta tell you Paul -- that looks really, really uncomfortable.
  3. Which one of you tough guys ordered the martini with the fifty olives in it? Would it kill you to put a napkin under the glass, like everyone else did?
  4. Matt Dillon is apparently the blackest guy in this movie, because you can't see him at all.
  5. No, seriously, Hayden -- the hat. What the fuck?
I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that the film's director was Mark Hamill, or that it was originally supposed to be called Corvette Summer II -- but unless that's the case, what the hell is Hayden Christensen doing in this movie?
Seriously, is his whole role in the film gonna be two hours of this?
It's not like he needs the cash, his time in the Star Wars prequels took care of that -- but I find it hard to believe this was a pet project, or that he's the kind of guy TI would have on speed dial. But are we actually supposed to believe that Darth Vader's agent called him on the phone and actually pitched him for this gig?
And if so, how exactly did that conversation go?
Agent: Hayden, baby! Just got the script for your next picture. Looks like an urban retelling of The Godfather.
Christensen: Wow -- sounds great, what role do they want me for?
Agent: You'll be playing Spanky from the Little Rascals.
Christensen: ..
Agent: I smell Oscar!

[Listening to:  Bloodsimple - "Cruel World" ]


Tuesday, October 27

Friendship Bracelet

Some things aren't meant to last.
They're started in earnest, created with care, and tied at the ends tightly with a knot. But materials are fragile. And time forgives nothing.
She made this for me. Just a little something.
It's not like I haven't had bracelets like this before. They used to pass these things out like candy when I was younger. All of them eventually fading, wearing thin, breaking at the roots, revealing the weakness in the binds that was there all along, even if the person wearing it didn't want to see.

I think when she made it she figured it would eventually break. Just like all the others she's made me that I've worn until they've given in to the elements and fallen away.
But this, this has held on.
At times I'm not even sure why. You'd think after all the miles and distance and rain, the colors would fade. The knot would slip. The threads would break down like conversations about nothing, spiraling quietly into uncomfortable silences on the phone -- making it seem all too often that you're further apart than you actually are.
But it's still here.
I get tied up in little things sometimes. I think I see messages in the crosshatches, want to find meanings in the threads that fly away off the edges, daring to be pulled to the risk of unraveling everything that's connected to them.
But then I look at my wrist.
..And I know.

[Listening to:  D'Angelo - "Lady" ]


Monday, October 26

That's My Jam: I've Had a Rough Night, and I Hate the Fucking Eagles of Death Metal, Man

Love, love, love this song. Tripped across it the other day via Pandora, and was immediatley hooked.
And I'm sure you're probably thinking, "Hey, that tune is like 2 years old, isn't it? Little late to the party, aren't we?" And you'd be right.
But here's the thing -- Queens of the Stone Age?
..Meh.
It's weird though, because theoretically I should adore them. And when their first album came out I was really intrigued, but to be honest -- it wore thin a lot faster than I expected it to.

It also didn't help that local alt-rock station here in town (this was pre-iPod, and my car stereo at the time was radio only) absolutely drove the bands first single "No One Knows" into the ground by playing it to death all day, every day.

What first drew me to the band was their unique sound. That whole sort of broken down garage band vibe, reminiscent of Kurt Cobain's refusal to sound like a generic rock guitarist growl paired with a knack for creating unavoidably head-bobbing riffs that felt more like drum beats than guitar lines.
They were like the Foo Fighters, but with a dirty mind.
I think a big part of the problem was that both bands were contemporaries, and all too often whenever I heard QOTSA it made me think of the Foo Fighters, and somewhere in the middle of that mistaken identity the value of both bands kinda paled for me (the fact that Dave Grohl played drums for both groups probably didn't help matters either). The Foo Fighters are a great band, but they're a pop act -- their songs when you first hear them are fantastic, but they have some sort of shelf life and you eventually wear out on them (in other words, "Everlong" is brilliant -- but if I ever have to hear it again in my lifetime I'll gouge the person playing it's eyes out with my car keys).

I think I'm the same way with Queens of the Stone Age. At some point, regardless of how much I dig the individual tunes, I kinda run out of gas on it. The songs work because they're built on these great little pop song like hooks, almost like a sitcom catch phrase that seems like the funniest thing in the whole world when you first hear it, but then when it reaches over-saturation and your mom is doing quotes from Austin Powers you realize not only that it wasn't really all that funny to start with, but you get kinda mad at yourself for getting sucked into something so vapid.

There's no shame in liking pop songs, they're made to be liked. But they're also made to be momentary thrills. A trend of the moment. By contrast, it seems like hit songs by pop-rock bands (or tunes by legitimate rock bands that find crossover success with pop audiences) seem doomed to become anthems, which live on waaaaay to long for their own good.

Maybe it's partially because I live in such a classic rock town, but there's a certain level of hate I associate with worn out warhorses like ACDC's "You Shook Me All Night Long," Guns and Roses "Sweet Child of Mine," and Lynard Skynard's "Sweet Home Alabama."

There's just something inherently annoying to me about DJ's, radio stations, or cover bands that decide to go there. For lack of a better term -- It's lazy. There are far better songs by every one of those bands you could easily choose to listen, and I'm not even talking about album deep cuts or B-sides. And isn't that what being a DJ is really supposed to be about -- opening peoples ears to songs they wouldn't otherwise have a chance to hear? Standing at the booth and saying, "Hey if you like that, then you're gonna love this!" But instead whenever you hear music played, it's the same ten classic tunes over and over and over.
Sure the crowd loves it, but they always love it.
That doesn't mean if you like certain songs you're a bad person -- but in a lot of cases what it might mean is there are tons of other great tunes you haven't heard.

In other words, there's more to life than Green Day's "Welcome to Paradise." But beyond that, every time you're at a club or listening to the radio and one of those rock anthems come on and the ratings go up, it's a vote of confidence for more of the same. If you're part of a culture that stands up and says "We love it when Kid Rock puts out a song that reminds us of other songs we like without actually having to listen to those songs," what you're really saying is:
"Please make another Vince Vaughn Christmas movie."
"Jennifer Anniston's relationship problems are endlessly interesting to me."
"Hey Tyler Perry, isn't it about time Madea spread some more wisdom?"
I love horror movies. A lot of people do. But by and large the last 10 years of horror flicks have sucked balls. Seriously -- Saw VI? The villain in the Saw franchise is DEAD, and the other night I saw a line around a theater waiting with baited breath to see who that corpse isn't going to personally kill next.

I guess what I'm really saying here is that our culture worked very hard to tell me that all I really need to know about Queens of the Stone Age I could easily learn by listening to "Go With the Flow" on Clear Channel, watching the video on MTV, and pretending to play along with the song on Rock Band or Guitar Hero -- while a great tune like "Sick Sick Sick" slipped by me unnoticed until just the other day.

Maybe it's all part of a bigger picture, but I feel excited when I discover new things I really like. Authors who inspire me, music that gets me moving, movies that keep me thinking, laughing, or screaming long after I've first seen them. And I guess for me, the world seems sort of stagnant when all you have to choose from is the same thing you've been watching, reading, or listening to for years.
Kinda hate that feeling, you know?
I'm sure I'm not the only one this has happened to. Have you ever come across something new and exciting from an artist, filmmaker, or author that you'd previously dismissed, or kinda been lulled by popular culture into thinking that their entire existence revolves around one moment in time?
..And if so, who were they?

[Listening to:  Etro Anime - "Purest One" ]


Friday, October 23

Just So You Know

I'm terribly, overwhelmingly, unavoidably busy at work today. Really.
How long could you survive after punching a bear in the balls?

The Zombie Bite Calculator

How many baboons could you take in a fight? (armed only with a giant dildo)
..Any of you baboons got a problem with that?

[Listening to:  American Head Charge - "Just So You Know" ]


Wednesday, October 7

Boodles Absolut

I asked her out on a date, and she said yes.
Booyaka, bitches.

[Listening to:  Rage Against the Machine - "Mic Check" ]


Tuesday, October 6

Japanese Garden

I did a post a while back. Less than a post really, just a few words. A picture of a statement that was worth a thousand words I didn't really know how to say at the time.
A moment passed, yet archived and preserved -- like an old photograph in a memory book.
So many blogs seem to want to be something else these days -- entertainment, information, propaganda, whatever; but in the end they can't escape what they are, what they've always been: Journals.
They're still snapshots of you, captured in white against blue -- of that
moment, of that time, of the person that you were that Tuesday in July.
But then something weird happened. Comments started showing up. Lots of them. In Japanese.

Surely all spam, probably of the worst variety -- but all hidden behind the interesting veneer of kanji script. You'd think if I was getting spammed it would attack the blog in it's entirety, hitting any and everything it could find in the hopes of snagging the interest of that one reader of mine who could actually translate the script and believed in anonymous claims of sexy girls who want to meet YOU or ancient herbal secrets to penis enlargement or whatever the hell those comments actually say -- but instead, they're just there.
Unreadable reactions to a purposely cryptic message.
There's something oddly Zen about it. About messages hidden within messages written into responses to a message I was trying to hide within a message.

Life's like that sometimes I think. Those mornings where you find yourself waking up from dreams that don't make any sort of sense, images out of order, random ideas that don't seem to be who you are at all. Sheep telling you to dance. Music telling you to cry.

The things you know are on the horizon and the ones you'll never see coming.
..All a part of who we are.
"Whatever it is you're seeking won't come in the form you're expecting."
        — Haruki Murakami

[Listening to:  John Coltrane - "What is There to Say?" ]


Monday, October 5

Actually Spoken During the Course of My Day

Me (answering phone): Hello?
He: Um.. Did I call the wrong number?
Me: How would I know?

[Listening to:  Yoko Kanno - "Cream" ]


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