If you Google the complete phrase, "I'm so high right now," you get fewer than 1,000 hits. This perplexes me. If there's one thing that high people do, it's remind other people that they're really high. And there are lots of lonely high people who go on blogs and message boards. Thus, one would think that the phrase "I'm so high right now" would be more prevalent online. But, like, no. Theories are welcome.
When reading about apartment "stager" Jill Vegas, I couldn't help but think, those books don't belong to anyone. Sure, they belong to Vegas' business, but they'll probably never be read, unless the enterprise goes under and the furnishings are liquidated. And what is a book that will never be read? [Insert quip about a bad author here.]
So I say: Infiltrate staged apartments and liberate the books. Who's gonna notice, right?
It's not enough to express opinions, have taste, or be the selector. Some folks flirt with doing all three. It's also perfectly acceptable to select opinions and provide tastes of selections. And it's possible to make money by aggregating, reshaping or metering the selections of the opinionated. Aggregating taste, however, is either boring or really boring. But aggregating tastelessness is a different thing entirely. Maybe it's better to simply get high or get down with what you love. Or maybe we should just shut up and play some records:
The Virginia Tech incident proves one thing about college students in general: If they're not drunk, stoned, horny, attending a sporting event or appearing on an MTV reality show, they're actually rather lucid, insightful and articulate. Maybe the American education system isn't as fucked as people think it is.
Still catching up on all the shit I didn't read last year. Johnny Knoxville in Blender:
Whose idea was it to use The Minutemen's "Corona" as the Jackass theme?
That one was mine. I also suggested “Bastards of Young” by the Replacements and the Flaming Lips’ “Turn It On,” but the Minutemen song works great — just a few seconds of that guitar sound and you know something’s happening. Like when you hear the Jaws theme, when you hear this, it means “Here comes Pontius’s cock.”
“I have a mathematical equation for all this,” said Mr. Wilmore. “White guy plus black slang equals comedy. But here’s where the equation breaks down. White guy plus black slang minus common sense equals tragedy.”
“I think he failed comedically more than anything else,” he added.
OK, duh, newspaper and magazine sites still haven't figured out how to sell enough advertising. The real "duh," however, is the fundamental structure used to display the ads -- i.e. not the shape of the ads themselves, but the rigidity of news sites' overall layout. Take this massive piece about Pope Benedict XVI in the NYT mag, for instance. If you click through all 10 pages of the article, you're likely to see the Netflix and Porsche ads a couple of times, in the exact same spot on the page. It's easy to mentally edit them out, no matter how much animation they have. My brain knows to ignore them. In fact, I didn't know the ads were for Netflix or Porsche until I went back and consciously observed them.
In the print version (which I haven't seen, because we halted the papers for a couple of weekends), you'd probably follow the article over-and-around a varied layout of advertisements, all of which probably would appear only once in the magazine itself.
(Yes, I read the entire pope article.)
Anyway, I'd probably be more likely to look at those print ads, if only because of the element of soft surprise: The shapes and placements would be varied enough that my eye would be distracted on occasion. That rarely happens on the Web, except maybe when there's a Mac-vs.-PC commercial playing on a newspaper's home page. (And perhaps that's why it's such an effective campaign: The concept is easy to absorb in any format.)
Of course, there's an obvious reason why every page of that pope article -- and every other NYT mag cover story -- is laid out exactly the same on the Web: If you're running the New York Times site, it's too time-consuming and/or labor intensive to construct and maintain a separate layout for each page. So you're stuck with a template that permits a banner ad and a right-rail area with two other square-ish ads. I won't be clicking on any of that crap.
So, what's the solution? I say people with big brainz should develop some sort of layout-variation software that allows a highly automated site to alter its geometry from page to page without human effort. It wouldn't override stylesheets or other base-level design elements, just the layout. You could calibrate it to affect only multi-page articles, or only section fronts, or whatever.
It's almost necessary at this point: I'm completely turned off by animated Web ads, and I know I'm not alone. The second I see any motion, I think, "this is a hard sell, and I should ignore it." A good print ad -- a combination of an easily digestible image and a bit of mystery or artistry -- works so much better. It's not necessarily a distraction -- it's a pause in the content. So there ya have it: Varying the layout of a news site might eliminate the need for gimmicky, motion-packed ads. I'd be a good little consumer.
Get on it, people.
(I'm sure there's an academic paper on this topic somewhere. But you wouldn't read that, would you?)
Our nation's best ice dancers want to use hip-hop. Nobody asked hip-hop if it would be OK. Hip-hop's response might go something like this: Ice dancing? Is that when you hang some mad sparkle on your number one stripper?
I know I'm not the only one who saw this: Tony was definitely sipping from a mini-can of Budweiser in last night's "Sopranos" episode. It was little, and it didn't just look little because Gandolfini has big meat-hooks. The photo evidence seems to back me up. There is scant online evidence, however, that Anheuser-Busch still makes Bud in a 6-ounce, 7-ounce or 8-ounce can. Yes, there are multiple feature stories about the 10-ouncers sold in St. Mary's County, Maryland. And beer-can-collector sites have lots of pictures of mini-cans from other eras. But my search-fu came up weak when I looked for modern distribution of the ol' Bud pony can, or whatever you'd call it. (Bobby Bacala, by contrast, is apparently a Heineken keg-can man.)
So at last night's Stooges show at the 9:30, Iggy pulled a bunch of people onstage to dance with him during "No Fun." The demographics of the dancers largely reflected those of the audience: There were two women and many, many dudes onstage. Nobody looked like they were really high. Nobody was particularly scummy. And one jackass completely ruined the fantasy that this was a balls-out rock 'n' roll show: He jumped up to join Iggy, and instead of thinking, "I'm onstage with the Stooges, I'm gonna be a freak," his first thought was, "Ooh! I'll pull out my digital camera and start taking pictures of this." Sir Nerdlington snapped a few shots, and I don't think he actually did any dancing. I hope that the graven image of Iggy completely short-circuited the camera.
PREVIOUSLY: "Let go of ego. Learn from the source."
So, did "The Sopranos" change television forever, or did "Twin Peaks" get there first? David Chase, via Peter Biskind in Vanity Fair:
"I didn't really watch much television until the first season of Twin Peaks, in 1990," [Chase] explains. "That was an eye-opener for me. There's mystery in everything David Lynch does. I don't mean, Who killed Laura Palmer? There's a whole other level of stuff going on, this sense of the mysterious, of the poetic, that you see in great painting, that you see in foreign films, that's way more than the sum of its parts. I didn't see that on television. I didn't see anybody even trying it."
I know I'm not the only knucklehead who regularly trumpets the impact of "TP," but it's probably time to give it the same "seminal work" cred that applies to all those ancient epics that populate comp-lit classes. Chase yaks a lot about Fellini, too, of course. But we're talkin' about TV here.
It's taken me a full two months longer than the Wook, but I've arrived at the same place: This season of "24" isn't just skippin' over the Selachimorpha, it's actually Butt-Raping The Shark, then giving the shark an exploding cigarette after the deed is done. And then after the cigarette detonates in the shark's face, "24" is handing the shark an icepack covered in hot sauce. And then when the hot sauce gets in the shark's eyes, "24" is like, "Oh, wait, did that hurt? I'm sorry, here's a bucket of water." But it's fresh water, not salt water, so the shark is like, "AARRRGGGH, I'm a salt water fish! Enough already, I just want to go home." And then "24" pats the shark on the ass and says, "You're lucky we didn't electrocute you with a lamp cord, biatch."
My pals at the Washington City Paper asked me to distribute this:
Starting this week, we're featuring a new advice column by legendary musician and D.C. resident Bob Mould, who'll be fielding readers' questions about D.C. life, music, U Street gentrification, touring tips, workout tips, relationships, etc. The idea is to draw on Bob's expertise as somebody who knows the District and is a good storyteller: for an idea of where he comes from, check out his blog at modulate.blogspot.com. Nothing is officially off-limits, but he's not interested in addressing Trekkie-type minutiae about his past. ("I have a question about the microphone you used to record the vocals on 'Hardly Getting Over It'...")
We'll set up a dedicated address soon. In the meantime you can send questions to
Washington City Paper
UPDATE: The official address for questions is firstname.lastname@example.org