"Perhaps the (unintended?) message of ''The Passion'' is that mingling religious and secular power leads to gross injustice, and occupying armies inevitably become dehumanized, amoral sadists." Len Righi reviews Mel Gibson's movie.
My brother and I lost an aunt over the weekend. She was undergoing treatment for cancer, but succumbed to an infection because her immune system had been weakened. Although writing can be a healthy thing at times like this, I'll be taking at least a week off.
I haven't been to Gangsta Haiku in awhile (thanks to the 'Neck for stirring the urge), but I had to drop one on them today. Check out Feb. 20 at 11:21 a.m. When I freestyle lately (read: when I'm really drunk), I usually get around to talking about cutting peoples' heads off. Dunno why. I think it has to do with my long-ago admiration for the Real Ultimate Power site.
A long-maturing theory finally revealed itself in my head: People fart during rock 'n' roll shows at a rate much higher than in the average public setting. The potential reasons are obvious: The loud music shakes the bowels while shrouding any resultant ass-noise; the ever-present smoke and B.O. can camouflage most rectal odors; and the distracted throng allows a perpetrator plenty of opportunity to drop bombz and scoot. At the Black Cat tonight, somebody was bustin' butt very close to me, but I couldn't divine the exact locus because people were dancing a little bit. The air stirred, and I inhaled rotten egg vapors. So mundane, yet so potent. I reflected on all the times that I freely cut while up in the club. My conclusion? No one is innocent.
1. It's amazing to see Wes Andersen allow the actors to run the show. He was absolutely in love with Luke and Owen Wilson.
2. It's basically a parody of every caper movie you can think of.
3. The "Rick James" episode (clip 1, clip 2, Real Player) of "Chappelle's Show" is one of the best half-hours of television, like, ever. I'm dead serious on this. I mean, it's damn near perfect. Charlie Murphy? That's some dead-on raconteur shit. UPDATE: Murphy's recollection of a basketball game with Prince is almost as good.
So, like, "Dazzling Dunks & Basketball Bloopers" was on ESPN while I was eating lunch today, and it might've been one of the more purely stoopid moments I've had in front of the teevee in awhile. I was alone, so factor that into the equation. Anyway, the vid is hosted by Marv Albert, his hair-helmet firmly in place. The production values are circa 1989, so there's a bit of an archeological thrill to it. I dig the crowd shots of white guys in Members Only jackets giving high-fives and making other, more outmoded gestures of excitement. But it's not completely ancient history, because Jordan had already been in the spotlight for a few years. Thus it's easy to see how little the league's overall attitude has changed. Best part? In a segment about shot-blockers, Michael Cooper of the Lakers trails a dude down the court, swats the ball from behind, leaps over the guy, and on his way down, he's grinning and looking into the camera the whole time. The modern baller was born a long time ago, ladies and gentlemen. Whine not about the Carmelos and LeBrons of the world.
When smart women become disgusted with with Courtney Love's music career, the results are always entertaining. Notice how that essay, although even-handed in its analysis of Love's importance in rock culture, basically comes down to one theme: it's time for this sorry bitch to stop wasting our time. Because beneath it all, Courtney Love probably ruined whatever was cool about Courtney Love. (And let's not discuss about whether she was ever cool in the first place. It's a sucker's argument. Maybe that's her one true talent -- encrypting the existence of her own coolness, when it could be all so easy. Blah.)
If you think your cable TV service is shitty now, wait until this goes through. I mean, I'm sure the Illuminati, the Knights Templar, the Mossad, the Masons, the Scientologists, the Bush family and Sir Elton John are all preparing to defend dear ol' Disney from the invading horde ... so the merger probably won't happen. But just the thought of those two companies joining together makes me feel all oogy.
The Shins at the Black Cat, Tuesday, Feb. 10: This seemed to be one of the toughest tickets in D.C. for awhile, and there were rumors of people paying serious cash to get in. I felt like I got my $15 worth -- frontman James Mercer obviously believes deeply in his wordy and countrified rock songs, and he's not afraid to dwell in each one while people are watching him. (A lot of guys in the same well-worn indie singer/songwriter situation can seem bored, or just happy to make it through the show.) The first 60 percent of the gig felt a little rough -- keyboardist Marty Crandall's stage banter was almost a little too silly (the band is a lot more detatched and spooky on its records) and the songs themselves didn't crackle as much as they could (e.g. "Mine's Not A High Horse" and "One By One All Day" were a bit muddy). The last 40 percent was considerably tighter: "Gone For Good" had a perfect balance of energy and twang, "Saint Simon" was as neatly nuanced as the recorded version, and "So Says I" was a punkish roof-raiser. The nightcap? A Black Cat staffer announced from the stage that so-and-so's friends needed to meet her downstairs, pronto. My wife knew why: There was a pale, drunk, puked-soaked chick in the bathroom who was on the verge of passing out. I wonder how much she paid for her ticket.
Coldplay's "Clocks" winning Record of the Year is kinda like when people vote for a president or senator they don't completely trust, and then vote for a congressman from the opposite party, just to make sure there's a little balance. Delaware does it all the time. (Was "Clocks" really a bigger song than "Hey Ya"? Was it really even worth it for me to post this two days after the Grammys? Yeah, word, the Delaware comparison is like, really funny, right?)
How many times does it have to be said? Always, always, always pay attention to the porn industry. They get it right usually before anybody else does.
Maybe we should all be somewhat freaked out by the concept of micropayment -- it might be a decent way for creative people to make a buck from their smallest efforts, but where does that leave us in the long run? From the NYT Magazine:
In opposition to the cultural commons stands the "permission culture," an epithet the Copy Left uses to describe the world it fears our current copyright law is creating. Whereas you used to own the CD or book you purchased, in the permission culture it is more likely that you'll lease (or "license") a song, video or e-book, and even then only under restrictive conditions: read your e-book, but don't copy and paste any selections; listen to music on your MP3 player, but don't burn it onto a CD or transfer it to your stereo. The Copy Left sees innovations like iTunes, Apple's popular online music store, as the first step toward a society in which much of the cultural activity that we currently take for granted -- reading an encyclopedia in the public library, selling a geometry textbook to a friend, copying a song for a sibling -- will be rerouted through a system of micropayments in return for which the rights to ever smaller pieces of our culture are doled out. "Sooner or later," predicts Miriam Nisbet, the legislative counsel for the American Library Association, "you'll get to the point where you say, 'Well, I guess that 25 cents isn't too much to pay for this sentence,' and then there's no hope and no going back."
I'll vouch for Jerry Stackhouse's recent gimpiness, because chondromalacia is not be trifled with. I developed it in my final semester of college, when I wasn't getting much exercize. (Four months of student-teaching will do that to you.) I couldn't even graze my kneecap without getting a twinge of pain. I thought I was going to need reconstructive surgery, but about six visits to a sports medicine joint -- plus regular at-home stretches and exercizes -- cleared it up in a few months. I liked the sports medicine clinic -- all the patients were hobbling around, many with tired faces from all the rehab: Finally, a place where all men are equal. You, with the huge pecs, you now are weak. They hooked me up to a gizmo that shot increasing amounts of electricity into the area around my knee. "Tell us when it gets to be too much," they said. I was like, "this is awesome," and my teeth were chattering.