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Sarah Palin Battle Hymn. Yes.

“And when she gets to Washington, it’ll be cold as hell…”

Two things that I suspect have not occurred to these good-hearted folk: 1. They’re chorus thesis hangs on the cultural idiom, “Hell Freezes Over.” Which is to say, Hell will never freeze over. Ergo: Sarah Palin will never get to “Warshington.” She couldn’t finish her term as governor.

2. Commandment Number 2: “You shall have no other gods before me.” This song is elevating Palin to Golden Calf status, by conflating “Battle Hymn of the Republic” as a church hymn. Pretty dubious as a church/state conflict, let alone borderline blasphemous.

Hey, man, just sayin’. Besides that, they seem like good church-goin’ people who are troubled by the rampant socialism that Jesus preached.

Baman Piderman

A tuba eating cakes? That’s crazy!

How I went this long without seeing this series is staggering.

The Brits. And Animals.

I don’t know why British people make the best animal voice-over artists. Or why they make Imperial Officers in the Star Wars films seem at once menacing parts of a fascist machine and comically inept choke-donkeys for Lord Vader.

But they’ve got range, man.

Some musicians are born, not made:

I’d love to see this dude with a Korg Wavedrum or a J Dilla style set-up, where he could trigger samples with a drum machine. I’ve never seen an MC drum before- I think it’d be incredible to see him with a hi-tech rig.

Then again, the foot-and-pens thing is pretty damn great on its own.

Joe Rogan Is Unafraid

“A million people die in Iraq, and all these people go, ‘Hey, as long as it doesn’t happen over here.’ But it is over here! It’s over here=over there! It’s people you don’t know, who were born somewhere else, who fucking got jacked.

You get trapped in that whole idea of ‘this is my team, these are my people.’ And someone fucking plays a country music song,  and throws up a flag. I’m in. Fuck it. Feels good. Feels good to be in, doesn’t it?”

I haven’t always been a Joe Rogan fan- his Carlos Mencia call-out was pretty epic. But this video definitely puts me in his camp. Do I believe that Obama is equal to Bush? God no. I believe that Obama will be a transformational two-term President. (Who’re the Republicans gonna run? Huckabee? Romney? Pawlenty? PALIN? Please.)

But questions being asked are never a bad thing. And 90 percent of his points are spot-on.

And his points on Eisenhower’s “Military Industrial Complex” speech are so apt as to be goddamn depressing. Roll on, great river, roll on.

Video from CNN of a remarkable guy who, you know, just got sick of feeling empty and started feeding people. You know, like the sort of thing Houston, Texas fines people for unless they’re certified.

America is insane.

Evomalution

Remember when the Seattle and New Orleans both sucked? If it’s not what I love about the NFL, it’s what I’d hate: a new phoenix is always waiting to rise from the charred feces of last year’s phoenix. While my Chargers hasten to dismantle during the offseason and I look to find a new Cinderella Story for XLV, here is a Matt Taibbi Men’s Journal article that made me guffaw in a silent waiting room a while back: (the goodies are on page 2)

http://www.mensjournal.com/the-nfls-next-evolution

I never understood why la Ardilla is not the dominant scavenger in the shared human landscape. They may not be as smart as rats, but they’re 10X faster. Squirrels can scrabble up the side of a windy day. They’re very talented jumpers, and persistent in the way that is only possible when desperate hunger and super-high metabolism overlap. To wit:

This takes place in England – the owners of the yard added each piece of the Rube Goldberg contraption slowly so that when the squirrel learned one section and got the nuts, they then added the next section. Finally it ended with what you see on the clip! It took over 2 weeks to get to this point.

http://www.equineadoption.com/squirrel.wmv

Oy and Vey.

Cool! Expolsions!

My apologies for the lack of embeddedness: The Last Mountain is so Rebellion that Teh Goog refused! [sic] to allow them to post their trailer on You Tube. You’ll have to follow the link and then click again to watch the trailer. The sign at the state line to West (By God) Virginia says, “West Virginia: Open for Business.” I saw it, I’m not messing. The Democratic party in West Virginia is where Massachusetts Republicans go to retire.

Meet The Swaggers

Recently one of my more sage-like friends was commenting on yet another iteration of one of our culture’s most enduring (if not annoying) comedy tropes: a white doofus trying to act like an urban black. It’s a gag that is probably about five seconds older rap music. From SNL’s 1985 “White Guy Rap” and onward, the wayside of our cultural is littered with new & uninspired versions each year. And yet, you can know that a joke is formulaic and still laugh first.

Enter last year’s finest example of bourgeoise Big Primpin’, and one of 2010’s most viral ads: Toyota Sienna’s SE ad “Swagger Wagon.

The most common version of dweeb-hop is a straight-up parody of outsider aspiration, uncomplicated by any actual ability in the style being mimicked. In White Guy Rap, even by 1985 standards the “rap” is a joke. (One the other hand, one could say that Chamillion’s song Ridin’ Dirty was a joke before Weird Al got ahold of it.) With self-conscious suburbanites as the target market, the Sienna campaign had to thread the needle: you can’t really poke fun too pointedly at the intended buyer. Swagger Wagon braids gentle acknowledgment of the concessions of parenthood with passably authentic commercial hip-hop production. The gag is upheld by maintaining a wide gap between content and delivery: rapping about culdesacs with a stone-cold face. It’s an amusing novelty, but it also satisfies a deep need for cultural relevance on the part of those with no capital of any sort to invest in hipness. I’m told that one has to sacrifice enormous tracts of their former persona when they embark down the path of child rearing. And let’s face it: there is almost nothing less sexy than diapers.

I make a mean gel mold, I perfected my trick

back when – I used to party as a college chick

now I’m cruisin’ to their play dates lookin’ all slick

in my Swagger Wagon

Bridging the gap between dorm party Jell-O shots and kid’s birthday parties speaks powerfully to lost youth. The message is clear: the wife is paunchy (or outright prego, depending on which spot in the campaign you see) but not without a certain milfaliciousness. She doesn’t just apply Band-Aids: she’s a Sexy Nurse fetish. The husband ranges from contemptibly meek co-parent to comically hard-ass gangsta stoicism. The entire song is a stubborn reaffirmation of virility long-since sucked into the vortex of parenthood, like a Bob Seger ballad turned inside-out. I still laughed first. (Then I cried!)

I plan to see Tron: Legacy in the theater. I know it’s getting bad reviews. One of the President / Also-a-Customer founder-members of this blog has a position on the use of CG “salt” in a movie. His position is that the Star Wars prequels are a creation of pure salt. I disagree. The Star Wars prequels are a bouillabaisse gone bad: over salted as hell to hide the flavor of contaminated shellfish. The first Tron was a creation of pure salt: a beautiful inorganic structure, as perfect as a crystalline crystal. I loved Tron.

There is also a sniffling, douchebaggy position that likes to hold spectacle/popcorn/explode-a-ganza movies to some kind of Dan Day Lewis acting standard. This is like complaining that they changed the recipe for steak tips at the The 99. If you are getting steak for $5.99, there is something you need to know: you are eating a steak that cost $5.99. Some people complained that the plot was paper-thin in Jurassic Park II* (49% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). And it was. But to be fair, I’m not sure there was a plot in Jurassic Park II so much as an arbitrary sequence of semi-logic, contrived to run a boat filled with kickass FX into Port of San Diego.  (I think it was the also only time Vince Vaughn tried to play a character that gave a shit about anything other than Vince Vaughn.) But the reason I went to see Jurassic Park II – the only reason – was to see a Tyrannosaurus Rex rex run ripshit through downtown San Diego. It took a long time too long for that ship to finally hit the docks, but it was worth the wait.

David Edelstein – who’s opinion I very often agree with – said that Tron: Legacy was an extraordinarily bad film, and that I should send people that I loathe to see it. And that it reminded him of “Disco Night at the High Life Ran Tan.” (You understand what he means even though you have no idea what he’s saying?) And that he thinks it has given him a brain tumor.

If Tron was an inert polyhedron, then Tron: Legacy looks to be a silicon-based life form. I’m prepared for the tumor.

* Roger Ebert said this of Jurassic Park II: The Lost World, “It can be said that the creatures in this film transcend any visible signs of special effects and seem to walk the earth, but the same realism isn’t brought to the human characters, who are bound by plot conventions and action formulas.” Since we’re working a theme.

Norm MacDonald Is A Genius

“The cold took her down as it did many of us.”

“Sometimes I feel like a spider, even though I’m a moth.”

Garth+Ginny Pixeling Your Face

UK directing team Garth+Ginny are doing brilliant little pixel animations that make me want to put a quarter in them. The animations, that is, not Garth+Ginny.

Ahem.

More brilliance here.

Ah. Reasoned and intelligent discourse from Fox News.

Wait. What?

I was as shocked as anyone. Shep Smith and Napolitano remain the only two sane voices in a loud bowling alley of troglodytes. More transparency now, please.

Blake Griffin Is A Bad, Bad Man

My face has been screwy all morning after watching these:



 

Welcome to Tobb Weder

New blogger here at Kenwoode: big welcome to Tobb Weder!

(Golf claps all around)

Michael Beasley is an Assassin

Yes, I know it was against the Clippers. Don’t care.



The Wolves are winning 35 this year, barring injuries. And then we get to hear all the ESPN lemmings walk back their “TWolves will be worst in league” lazy reporting.

ESPN’s highlight reel makes it seem as if the Clippers won the game- all Clippers plays until the end dagger. Ah, NBA/ESPN- how reliable that you’ll ALWAYS tout the major market over everything. No respect. Here’s hoping Billy Joel, punk rocker, shows up at some point:

During the 1994 Grammy Award Show, the director cut short Frank Sinatra‘s acceptance speech for receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. Joel extended his performance of “The River of Dreams” by stopping the song partway through, looking at the celebrity audience with a grin while pretending to check his watch and saying, “valuable advertising time going by…dollars…dollars…dollars…” which was met with laughter from the audience. He then resumed playing the song.

Mafia teamleader: You! Git over there and bound and gag ’em.

Me: Don’t you mean bind and gag ’em?

An 8-Bit Conundrum

This graphic appeared in Wired a few years ago. I was immediately piqued by the fact that I could recognize a few of the characters. Curiosity quickly turned to Obsess Much? as I realized that each figure or ensemble represents a real (presumably) musician. I absolutely love this piece for it’s pixel-pushing meticulousness. When I presented it to a circle of my friends, they attacked it with geeker savagery. We are still stumped by a small handful of them. (Highlighted in blue)

Here are our answers. I’m reasonably confident of them – our dorkus-maximus peer-review process required photo evidence and nearly-unanimous-consensus.

Help fill in the gaps!

Gogol Bordello

This video is a beautiful disaster. It looks like Terry Gilliam was kidnapped by steampunk robots and force-fed a tub of Plasticine and ipecac in the MOMA. It’s just lathered in anxious digital filigrees, and I think the whole thing would be a busy failure if it all weren’t less interesting than the heavy-lidded charisma of Eugene Hütz. In the past, the lead singer’s girlfriend would shake a tambourine or hold a triangle. We’ve finally disposed of that lie: just sit there and look hot. Slap your thighs to the beat if you feel like it.

Lord knows I love completist infographics.

From World Famous Design Junkies:

The Grand Taxonomy of Rap Names.


John Clarke- Mosaic For Shadows

A beautiful composition built upon looping with an RC 50 Loopstation. John’s website is here. His technique actually looks like he’s playing a bass at times; he titles it an Latin-Asian composition, which I guess it is- I’ll let a man who’s developed this level of skill define his own genre.

I think there’s going to be a whole new explosion of looping players, no matter their instrument, that come out in the next 5 years that blow people away. Much like there being an entire generation who’s chosen medium is film-making that will revolutionize cinema (which I already think you’re seeing the first sparks of with Zombieland, Scott Pilgrim and their ilk, playing with film-as-canvas the way Peter Greenaway did), there’s going to be guitarists that learned by endlessly jamming with themselves via loopers.

You don’t have to wait for your bassist or drummer to be on time. Here’s a loop, a spare 3 hours, a trance-like bed to play over, and they’re soloing for hours, developing their craft like Coltrane running scales forwards, backwards and all other variations, driving his New York neighbors crazy. Les Claypool-like cascading sheets of notes.

And when game companies figure out a way to bridge the gap between Rock Band/Guitar Hero games and actual musical instruction (it’s really close now, just a nudge before we’re there) as a enjoyable, immersive experience, well, the sky’s the limit, really.

Kenny Powders Is Back

I am Christmas-morning-excited about the new season of Eastbound & Down:

I realize that it’ll be hard to duplicate the perfection of the first season, but I’ve got a feeling this one’s gonna be even better. I mean, just look at the damn cornrows: it’s amazing.

This Bear Loves Cocaine

NSFW. But righteous nonetheless.

Damn:

“I thought you said this works every time.”

“Get back to the ship!”

I love these. Philosopher Slavoj Zizek argues against the ethics of charitable giving, which I don’t fully agree with, but the method of communication of these videos is fantastic. If all dry economic philosophy talks were this fun, we’d be much more savvy. I can’t find the artist’s name anywhere (who, I think, is the real unsung hero of the pieces), but they’re all pretty great, and keep getting better. Zizek’s argument about an impending world-wide cultural “zero point” is simply ‘declared’ and barely touched upon, but I think it’s salient- in many ways, we as a planet are heading towards a point where old answers don’t seem to be enough. This, to me, is a point for optimism, not fear- using the phrase “turning point” versus “apocalyptic vision” would be my choice.

But then again, I’m not a big Roland Emmerich fan. I think anyone who uses the idea of the world ending to scare up box office seems a bit ethically dubious, to me.

Imagine this as a sort of note-taking- what if students all learned “comix” as a second-language, as a device for retention. I read somewhere that the Army uses comics to illustrate a number of sensitive training points, as comics (and, I would assume, this form of dense-animation-comics hybrid) apparently engages both the right and left side of the brains, leading to faster neural connections (that last part is my own b.s. hypothesis- disregard as necessary).

Either way, these are great, keep ’em coming, RSA.

Joe Henry is Fearsome

The world is always beautiful/when it’s seen in full retreat

The worst of life is beautiful/as it slips away in full retreat

And then, of course, there’s Ornette Coleman’s viciously brilliant solo on “Richard Pryor Addresses a Tearful Nation,” one of those songs that made me pull my car over the first time I heard it. The walk-down after the “squeal” crescendo makes me depressed every time I hear it. Simply masterful.

This man hasn’t released a bad album yet- they’re just varying degrees of incredible.

Hey look! The people at Cracked stopped making top 5 lists for Digg and made a really funny little film:

Bill Simmons published a bunch of letters from fans reacting to the LeBron James “Decision” debacle. One of my favorites:

City: Southampton, Pa.

Name: Steve L

On ESPN last night, they were wondering what the nickname for the new trio of free agents in Miami should be. I vote for …

1. The Sisterhood of the Traveling That’s Never Called

2. The Fly Girls 3. The Unholy Trinity 4. Florida’s Second-Best NBA Team and my personal favorite … 5. The Nazgul

The Nazgul were the characters in “Lord of the Rings” that were former kings who turned into demons that were constantly chasing the ring. It completely consumed them and robbed them of their humanity. I think this sums up the situation in Miami.

I vote for “The Superfriends” myself. Something so lame and appropriately mocking about that. “Hey, let’s all dress up in tights and save hot South Beach bikini models!”

The rest are here. It’s a bloodbath of depressing homerism and understandable Cleveland despair. LeBron is the anti-Mauer.

Godzilla Haiku

It’s just… so good:

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