Archive for April, 2009

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

I think this is the toughest thing in life to do. Reminds me a bit of the Desiradata, attributed to Max Ehrmann.

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From his TED talk Feb 2006:

Whenever something is depressing or pissing me off, I go to TED.com and get inspired by the brilliant people focusing on solutions for this planet, rather than bitching about it. Or I drink scotch and curse the rich.

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Damn, Katie Couric can flow.

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Good God, y’all.

UPDATE: Here’s another challenger to the crown, a girl who’s pretty great as well.

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Just like it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, it’s always Paul Westerberg Thursdays somewhere. In our hearts.

And in our livers.

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After his mocking of “Glen Beck Day” on Fox, his even-handedness during the election, and his stance on torture, I’m finding Shepard Smith to be a truly admirable journalist, even if I disagree with him occasionally. Pretty much the only one on FOX to admire, really:

Shep losing it here, in a good way. I’m surprised more people don’t do this on television, considering the doddering, simple-minded “debates” they’re forced to endure.

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Hey, I didn’t say that mess- Shrek did:

I love how Letterman just does not give a shit anymore; he’s never been funnier than the last few years.

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So much more effective and spooky than even my favorite part of the Watchmen movie, Jackie Earle Haley’s performance:


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And just about anyone else for that matter. Shot in one of my favorite cities on the planet:

The Clan McNeill hearby agrees never to attack the Clan MacAskill, on the basis of their being unbelievably baddass.

Plus, I love that Band of Horses song.

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Nice little article by Abrams in Wired. His point about discovering music is spot on:

But wait, you say, iTunes gives you the chance to browse! To that I nod, concede the point, and say, “Bullshit.” Those little icons you scroll past mean almost nothing to most of us. Why? Because we didn’t get on the train, brave the weather, bump into strangers, and hear music we didn’t choose. In other words, we didn’t earn the right to casually scan those wooden bins. Lately I go to Amoeba Music in Hollywood just to watch people flip through albums. It’s a lost art.

Still not feeling the new Star Trek, though. It just looks so… exxxtreme, brah. Like it was a retrofitted Chronicles of Riddick script. And Kirk just looks so…pretty.

I’m being hideously unfair, but isn’t that what blogs are for? Snarky, uninformed opinions, with no regard for fairness whatsoever?

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Video here. It’s too hard to figure out how to embed. And I’m far too lazy.

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Norman Chad has a spot-on article over at SI (despite the cringe-inducing, fish-in-a-barrel Amy Winehouse joke), about how we (New York specifically, but the USA as a country) will toss any amount of money at sports stadiums. About how our society crumbles while we entertain ourselves. I truly believe that the next bubble to burst is gonna be sports: players salaries, plummeting attendance, etc.


One of the things I’ve always been proud of about the Twin Cities is that they generally told blackmailing sports owners to go to hell regarding public funds for their proposed sports arenas. (“You’re gonna leave? Good. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”) That changed because of two things, I believe:

  1. Norm Green stealing the North Stars and bringing them to Dallas, and a state where hockey is a birthright (like killing wolves in Sparta) didn’t have a professional hockey team. For years.
  2. People traveling to other cities and watching baseball outside (and the St. Paul Saints outside as well), then thinking, “Jesus, I knew the Metrodome sucked, but I never knew just how much.

So I get the $522 million dollar ballpark. I just hope the incinerator being basically next door doesn’t give the fans chronic lung problems just ’cause they enjoy baseball outdoors.

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Springsteen had Tom Morello play on “Tom Joad” and Mike Ness from Social D play “Bad Luck” on Tax Day. I missed it. But, thanks to the power of the InterWeb, I feel like I was THERE!!!

Or at least, experiencing a choppy, compressed, notepad-sized version of it. They’re super-comparable.

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Oh…. yes.

I can just imagine the writer’s meeting:

“Let’s not do a monologue. Let’s just try something different, and odd, and fun.”
“No monologue? That won’t work, man!”
“Why not?”
“‘Cause… well, just ‘cause, brah. It’s a Late Night show. That’s not the tone of our show.”
“Let’s try something new.”
“But it’s never been done!”
“That’s why it’ll be fun! Let’s mess some shit up!”
“But what’re we gonna do about the monologue?”
“We won’t do one. We’ll just have this dance.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, brah. Slow down. No monologue…?!?

I wanna go drinking with Ferguson.

He’s what? Sober?

Never mind.

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She comes back to tell me she’s gone
As if I didn’t know that
As if I didn’t know my own bed
As if I’d never noticed
The way she brushed her hair from her forehead

The above stanza is probably my favorite song lyric of all time, from Paul Simon‘s Graceland. Some friends and I were having a discussion last night about musical genius vs. songwriting genius (details for another post), and I thought about this lyric again.

It really has it all- the scalpel precision of Simon’s devastated protagonist and his heartbreak, recognizing his ex-lover’s petty need to remind him she no longer loves him, and the tenderness of his memories despite her unwitting cruelness. And Simon just reels lines like these off all the time; they’re as common to him as inappropriately brutal guitar solos are to CC Deville.

It’s the sublime, less snarky version of “How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?” (which is a kick-ass song title, by the way.)

And the second half of this verse is almost as good as the first:

And she said losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you’re blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow

A lesser songwriter would repeat the “blown apart” line. Simon, in his Zen-like restraint, turns a selfish “poor me” moment into a Haiku meditation: “Everybody sees the wind blow…” and follows it with the hopeful chorus, “…in Graceland.” Graceland as Heaven, Graceland as refuge, Graceland as meditation of why he started writing songs in the first place.

I’m in awe of that album in general, and Paul Simon in particular. And don’t even get me started on The Rhythm of the Saints, which I like even more than Graceland, if possible.

(This might be a cool little feature: “Favorite Song Lyrics.” Carl? Thoughts? Carl?

Dammit, Carl, pay attention!)

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Is it just me, or does the GOP & Fox News (with their touting and co-opting of the Ron Paul Tea Parties and short-term memory regarding Bush’s civil liberty infringment and psychotic spending) remind anyone else of the racist anti-integration stereotypes in Remember the Titans?

I can’t be the only one. It’s like they’re playing roles in a made-for-tv movie. “Dere dif’runt den us! Get ‘um!”

Full Disclosure: I will watch Remember the Titans every time I stumble across on it cable. I’m a complete sucker for it.

UPDATE: Here’s John Oliver (my favorite correspondent) intellectually destroying protestors on the Daily Show.

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Here’s a clip from Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman’s great tv series, Long Way Down. They rode from SCOTLAND TO THE TIP OF SOUTH AFRICA in 2007. Yes. You heard me.

Tre’ baddass, and highly recommended, if you like travel, motorcycles, or both.

Some people want to be rich. Some want to frolic with supermodels. Some want to be famous. Me? I just want to go on an 18-country, sponsored motorcycle ride with Ewan and Charlie. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

And the frolicking, of course.

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There’s a 6.3% chance that the T-Wolves get ‘im. I know I’m dreaming, but what the hell. Can you imagine? Griffin, Big Al and K Love down low? Those muggs could do some damage.

I’d also take Ricky Rubio. Or Harden. (Lord knows, we could use a point guard.) Or Thabeet. But knowing the McHale Curse, we’ll drop to the 6th pick. AARGH!!!

(When the Wolves went on a 10-2 run in Jan, I told a guy that they’d win 35 this year. Then Big Al went out. They won 24 without Big Al, and lost a ton by 8 or less points. Had we remained healthy, I stand by my 35 prediction.)

ESPN’s Mock Draft here.

UPDATE: Apparently, the Wolves won the toss between them and Memphis; they now have a 7.6% chance of the first pick. Here’s hoping Stern doesn’t pull a New York Knicks-Patrick Ewing-fix. Yeah, I said it.

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I made this!


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Three shots. 75 feet away. In the dark. Yeah, I’d be grinning, too.

Well done, boys.

UPDATE, 4/23/09: A brutal reconsideration of the crowing American cheers for the snipers by South Park, my own included. Do I think the pirates crossed the line by taking hostages? Absolutely. Is there more to the story than than? Completely. South Park makes the razor sharp point, as always: no one wants to live in life-threatening poverty, and have to take ships by force to survive.

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picture unrelated


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Game changer: engineered, arranaged, edited, shot, broadcast, conceived by David Johnson. And my boy’s from NE Minneapolis, of course.

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Here’s a great little interview by Digg founder Kevin Rose, who posed questions to Trent that were voted on by Digg. Trent discusses a number of things, including the myopic business model and view of Old Media, theories on musical monetization, and his views on the future of 3D, film, and video games. I found the whole thing really interesting.

Jon Brion on Trent’s purported way of working in the studio:

Here’s something else you can try: I heard that when Trent Reznor starts a project, he makes a list of things you’re supposed to do, such as eighth-note tambourine on the chorus and chorus bigger than verse. The list gets posted in the studio, and you’re not allowed to do any of those things. That’s a great way of working.

The whole Brion interview is here.

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While doing some research on Mohammed Unis and microfinance (meaning, I took two seconds and did a Google search- I love how “research” has become “bare-minimum investigation”), I stumbled across Kiva.Org:

Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.

Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.

The people you see on Kiva’s site are real individuals in need of funding – not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs’ profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.

How awesome is that?

I truly wish there was a domestic version of this, something where I could be assured that my money was going to Katrina victims directly, or a sponsorship for students in impoverished US cities (I’m sure there’s a ton of people in Detroit right now that could use it).

If Kenwoode ever goes on to make any money, Kiva will be my charity of choice. And if Carl was any type of empathetic human being, he’ll join me. But I highly doubt it. ‘Cause he’s a jerk, you see.

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And this is why Transformers is all but unwatchable a second time through:

Tipped by Andrew Sullivan.

UPDATE: Found a quote (not cited, but hopefully it’s accurate) of Trey Parker’s spot-on assessment of the Michael Bay character arc:

“‘I’m fucking awesome! I’m fucking sweet! I … am … awesome.’ Then in the middle of the movie comes the point where ‘maybe I’m not so awesome,’ and then in the end he’s like, ‘Nooo, I am. I am awesome.'”

How can you argue with that? Simply remember you’re awesome, and you shall become awesome again.

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There’s been a couple of songs in my life that made me have pull my car over to the side of the road. This is the first in a while.

Circa ’84 “No Surrender” Springsteen crossed with a little post-punk crossed with a little Cure. Add a dash of Cheap Trick. (That’s what it reminds me of, anyway. I’m sure the Gaslight Anthem guys would go, “Shut up. We’re us.”) I’m sold.

The same song rocking Letterman’s face:

“What’re you, the drummer? Good.”

Damn, but I’m a sucker for a hard-charging post-punk anthem. Too much Replacements, I guess.

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Colbert on Glen Beck. Brutal.


And if you don’t know, now you know.

Are we quite finished with these clowns yet? Is anyone taking these guys seriously at all?

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