Friday, June 29, 2007

Et tu, Flaming Lips?

For those of you who are not in the Twin Cities area, you probably know nothing of Myth, the suburban rock club. And not sub-urban, as in some witty play on an underground theme, but rather in reference to the place you go to live so that you don't have to be near black people.

I have long refused to go the subrubs for any but the most important reasons, and usually those involve getting arrested outside the headquarters of major weapons manufacturers. However, I begrudgingly recognize that in a capitalist state we need those rascists and their money to keep our neat little city humming. It's sort of a Faustin bargain that those of us with morals/ideals have to make--major cities just can't survive without assholes, it seems. Myth, however, takes it all to a new level. Not only is it trying to ramove the last of any reasons racist suburbanites would come to the city and give us their ill-begotten money (e.g. in exchange for actual entertainment), but it's also now owned by local ego-maniacal car-magnate Denny Hecker, who in addition to purchasing apparently everything he can, always appears to be a cheeseburger shy of a heart attack, which only adds to the reasons to boycott (his ego-maniacal purchase of everything in the Twin Cities area, not his imminent stress-induced death).

As for now, it's been a preety easy boycott to maintain, with the majority of concerts featuring people you would expect at a suburban night club, with the exception of what were probably some decent shows, such as the recent Nas appearance.

However, the bar has been re-set. It was recently announced the the only Minnesota tour stop of the Flaming Lips will be at Myth. Fortunately, I got the chance to see the Lips do a show with Sonic Youth at the State Fair last year, so again, it won't be much of task to keep myself from attending. But it does mark the start of what could be a disturbing trend of good bands playing at there. The suburbanites have already damaged us enough with the massive pollution from their hour-plus daily commutes, their repeated elections of right-wing nut jobs to national offices, and their constant production of wealthy ersatz-punk teenagers clogging shows with their latest Hot Topic purchases. Must they steal our last vestiges of hope by taking away our good alt-rock psychedlia as well?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Paging Dr. Freud...

Pardon the cheesy post title, but there's really nothing else that could adequately cover this story.

It turns out, the Pentagon has recently confirmed it attempted to develop a "gay bomb," which would deploy a chemical causing the enemy combatants to become so aroused they would instantly turn homosexual and be so in love with each other that they would be unable to fight.

Yes. This is actually what the Air Force requested $7.5 million in funding for, to develop and test such a weapon. This request came in the year 1994. 1994!

Again, I cannot emphasize enough the fact that I am not making this up. Only 13 years ago the Air Force was petitioning our government for funding to develop a bomb that turns our enemies gay, because sissy gay people can only make out and not fight.

Well, if nothing else, this should be an interesting conversation starter for folks at this weekend's Pride Fest.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Your dog fucking hates marijuana

By now, pretty much everyone is familiar with the nearly $200 million U.S. Gov't campaign Above the Influence and it's incredibly idiotic commercials that really appear to have been done by stoners, ironically. One could go into an extended rant about how conservatives who complain about excessive government spending seem to have no problem with throwing away millions upon millions of tax-payer dollars to poorly-conceived anti-drug ads, but that would be small and petty.

Me, I'm more reminded of the brilliant episode of Strangers with Candy, in which the drug counselor brought into the school to teach children the horrors of marijuana says something to the effect of "Oh sure, you may have heard of the 'scientific studies' proving that pot is 'not addictive' and 'not harmful,' but if you choose to smoke weed, you're going to be spending a lot of time laughing and having fun with your friends. Are you prepared to deal with that?"

Well, sadly, our government has hit about the same level of discourse. After being finally forced to admit that marijuana does very little physiological damage (especially in comparison to alcohol or cigarettes), the brilliant chums down at the ONDCP have turned to telling us that our pet dogs won't like us if we smoke up.

First, they started with a poorly drawn cartoon:

Seeing as that brilliant gem apparently failed to stop our nation's youth from the deadly clutches of the vile weed, the ONDCP has cooked up a new live action version, in which a weird talking dog informs a young lady that she's different when she smokes and that he misses hanging out with her. Unfortunately, this version hasn't been youtubed yet, but if you turn on your t.v., you'll surely see it within 5 minutes.

For a scholar of deviance such as myself, these commercials represent an interesting break from the commercials of the past. Whereas in my childhood we were told our brain would be fried like an egg if we used drugs, today's kids are receiving a bit less fear-inducing message. It's an interesting shift of strategy, no doubt in response to the increasing field of medical studies on the subject, and could almost be seen as a positive devlopment (at least they're not out-and-out lying about the effects of marijuana anymore).

But on the other hand, we must remember that while 50 million Americans have no health insurance, an illegal and immoral war has already claimed over 600,000 lives and counting, and our public schools are crumbling, your goverment sees it as a top priority to inform you that if you use marijuana, your dog will not like you anymore.

Unfortunately, we have no information on how your cat feels about your rampant marijuana use yet.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

News you can use on the 5 second rule...

A great article appeared in the Strib today on the long-held yet controversial 5 second rule. Two seniors at Conneticut College have performed a study testing how long food can sit on the groud before it goes bad.

And as usual, it turns out the stoner kid in the weird-smelling room at the end of the dorm hallway was totally right. The pair of researchers found out that food can usually sit on the ground for up to 30 seconds before it becomes infected with any more germs than it would sitting on your table, and more solid foods (such as the Skittles they used) could often last up to 5 minutes before one could distinguish them from those still safely on the table.

So the next time you clumsily knock your food to the floor and the person next to you snarkily says "You're not going to eat that, are you?" you can tell them it's not only your right as an American to follow the five second rule, but that it has scientific backing as well.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The trials and tribulation of a hardcore skate punk

After months of borrowing my brother's, I finally went out last week and bought my own long board. The long board is basically just a really big skateboard designed more for going long distances and maneuvering around tight spots that it is for the jumps and tricks of the skateboards most people are used to. They're also really, really fun.

The great thing about skating in general is that it's humbling sport. Whenever you're starting to get cocky about what you can do, something comes along to knock you off your high horse. For example, on only the second day I had my own board, I was trying to navigate around some folks hogging the sidewalk when one of my wheels caught the grass, stopping the board and sending me flying. But at least it was a quality wipe-out, complete with full head-over-heel 360 and flailing limbs and all that.

But unfortunately I landed on my elbow, which swelled to the size of a grapefruit that night. Only now 4 days later can I even move it about 20% of its range and I still can't carry any weight in that hand.

But that's all in a day's work for a hardcore sk8 punk such as myself...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A must-hear

Not since noted Republican-party fundraiser Ozzy sang Working Class Hero, has a match-up this odd come about:

At a recent BBC live show, Marilyn Mason sang a quite haunting acoustic version of Justin Timberlake's recent hit "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around[sic]" (download it here).

Now, as anyone close to me knows, I have a fascination with JT that goes far-beyond my latent homosexuality, though it's more for his business-savvy in the industry (another post to be sure, but it is fascinating, I assure you), as opposed to the music he makes. Though, to be fair, he does make some good booty-shaking music.

But I think it's a bit more surprising to think that Mr./Mz. Manson has a similar fascination. It obviously can't be just a publicity stunt like so many ironic covers, because even ironically it wouldn't go over with his fans, but also because he sings it with such earnestness that you have to believe him when he says he genuinely enjoys the song.

Anyway, it's too late to think of a snarky way to bring this whole post home, but do yourself a favor and listen to the song and ponder the sheer oddity of the situaion you experience in both the unlikely event of Marilyn Manson singing Justin Timberlake, but also your enjoyment of such a seeming abomination...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I could be a #2 draft pick

Inspired by some interesting musings from the lawyer about the current state of the world...

So, by now pretty much all sports fans have heard about how sure #2 pick in the NBA draft Kevin Durant failed to bench 185 pounds at the pre-draft camp. Now, 185 pounds is a sizeable amount, but one that even your humble neighborhood blogger can manage a couple of times. Sure, mine aren't pretty, precise reps, but I can at least move the bar up and down, somehting Durant failed to do.

But you know who else can do it, reportedly 5 full times? That's right, everybody's favorite president. This could really explain a great deal, though. I mean, if you're working out enough that you can purportedly bench a theoretical max of 213 (my max is 234, but I've got a good 30-40 years of youth on my side) and run a 6:45 mile, you really don't have the time to read all those stupid security breifings or look for weapons of mass destruction or any other such pesky thing that might get in the way of your workout.

As for Durant, I would like to note that I, too, am available for the 2007 NBA draft. Or alternatley, even though I have my B.A., I still have all 4 years of my collegiate eligibility out there, in case Texas needs someone to replace him. Just putting that out there...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Happy 300!

This post, my internet friends, is my humble 300th post. Each time I put up another hundred posts, I always feel it to be a good occassion to stop and recollect on life and whatnot, for as this humble li'l blog has grown, so too has the humble li'l blogger who writes it.

Sadly, this blog is actually a pretty good descriptor of my life. When I began blogging low these 2 and a half years ago, it's amazing to think of how different I was then. I suppose it's mainly a function of the lifecourse, in that I'm at an age where people probably change a bit more rapidly than they do in later years.

When I started the blog, my original goal with it was to make it a touchstone for the local political scene, that scene being the Waterloo/Cedar Falls (IA) area, so it really wasn't that big of a goal. But over time I learned what many before me have found; namely, that political diatribes are not likely to gain much attention. So, in my blog life, as in my real life, I've (hopefully) learned how to balance the politics with the rest of life, so as to hopefully be a little less "that guy" and a bit more entertaining, or at least, less annoying.

In my time on the interweb, I've been the subject of right-wing attacks, had a call from Jesus on his way to jury duty, been visited by the feds, came to yet another school, and of course, previously reflected on my own blog.

I've laughed, I've learned, I've cried, I've become somewhat computer literate. And according to the site tracker on my blog, I have gained a regular reader in India.

Not too shabby for something I initially started because I was bored at work...