Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reason # 123, 456, 239 Why TWNR

Some dude made his senile Grandma pose in a home made Gangsta Rap film clip, holding a gun and threatening the police. Check it.

"The 85-year-old grandmother can be seen in the video holding a handgun, wearing a black mask and threatening to shoot "all the pigs."

Shout to The Biz for the assist, and Weez for the assist to the assist.

Apparently the grandson got arrested, but the Granny was last seen bouncin' Six Fours up and down Crenshaw.

I'm Talking Basketball

I posted the above pic because a) I don't post enough images of females (gender equality, motherfucker), b) she made her way into this article about the new NBA season which kicks off tonight, and c) I love me a busty red head.

Seriously though, the guy who wrote the article is one of my favourite living writers. His name is Bill Simmons, and even if you hate sports you will enjoy some of his stuff. A bereft-of-context example:

"In 1962, you could take Joan on a date to a diner, and she would order a patty melt, onion rings and a vanilla malt and finish off everything with a smile on her face. In 2008, if you took her to that same diner, she would order a Diet Coke and a garden salad with the dressing on the side, leave three times to smoke Marlboro Lights, stare at your onion rings for 20 minutes before eating two of them, disappear into the bathroom for another 20 minutes, then ask you to pay the check because she couldn't be late for her Pilates appointment. Also, there's a decent chance one of her ribs would break when she put on her seat belt on the way home."

See? I told you.

Reds Under The Bed

So you may have heard that the latest script McCain is reading from dictates that he accuse Obama of socialism.

"Senator McCain seized on the interview where Senator Obama, then a state senator in Illinois and a law professor, appeared to lament the failure of the civil rights movement to bring about greater financial equality, saying it proved his opponent was determined to redistribute wealth."

Briliant. Only a Republican could turn the fairly objective observation that blacks are worse off than whites into a preamble to the Communist Manifesto.

What is this, The Fifties? No one cares anymore. No amount of 'Reds Under The Bed' fear mongering is going to shake the faith at this point.

And quite apart from all that, what the fuck is wrong with Socialism anyway? After 8 of the Bushiest, least sociable (let alone socialist) years in western democratic history, maybe we need a swing to socialism for a while just to compensate.

It's moot anyway, because given Obama's sworn devotion to fixing the current financial crisis within the framework that created it, he's clearly NOT a socialist.

So This Is Why I Like Drunk?

Apparently some sociological/anthropological type dude feels that he and his colleagues have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that genetics account for 40% of our behaviour.

"An example I give to my clients is hair colour," the specialist said.

"Hair colour is genetically determined. You're born blonde, red-headed, brunette. You can change that, but you have to keep working at it.

"Unless you dye your hair every couple of weeks, it's going to revert to its natural colour."

Well if that doesn't convince you, I don't know what will.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Boondock Saints Are Back?!!!?!?!?!?!??!?!??!

If this is true, I'm very excited. I loved this movie.

Anyway, time will tell.

As a funny aside, check out Sean Patrick Flanery's and Norman Reedus' (the actors in the pic) personal web pages. Norman Reedus lives in New York with his son, Mingus Lucien Reedus. Excellent.

Seth Rogen + Kevin Smith = I'm Going To The Movies

I saw a preview for the new Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy) and Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin) film the other day (I think it's called Zack and Miri Make a Porno), and it looks pretty good. Obviously, it's one of those movies - a cut above the typical Will Ferrell thing (which I like, don't get me wrong) but not as funny as, say, Mel Brooks classic material.

Anyway, someone's put together a list of the best fake pornos/porno names from well known movies.

Kinda funny. Don't cancel an appointment or anything, though.

The Carter II

As per my earlier post - this is THE dunk from the 2000 Olympics where Vince Carter's at the peak of his powers and able to leap big slow white guys in a single bound. Unbelievable.

MJ versus Vince Carter

I wouldn't normally link to Facebook, but someone put me onto this 10 minute clip comparing Michael Jordan's most acrobatic dunks and finishes with those of, well, let's call him 'the other Mr. Carter.'

If you like basketball at all (even in just a passing, "I don't mind seeing a dunk or two" way), then check it out.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Myth Of The Net Generated Pop Star

As many great things as the internet has contributed to the promotion and marketing of good music, I have to say that the biggest negative impact it has had involves the propagation of the myth that all you have to do is upload your music and promote your ass off through social networking etc. and you'll eventually get somewhere.

This article is interesting in that it shows how, if anything, the internet is perfectly suited to artists who cut their teeth on major record labels with huge budgets that were able to help them harvest a massive fan base back in the good 'ol "release-and-tour, release-and-tour" days.

Having seen both sides of this coin, I have to say that I think you can make it work both ways (what can I say, I'm an eternal optimist), but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if you have had the kind of exposure that comes from playing the industry game, even just a little bit, you have a massive advantage over some kid who's starting out in a bohemian enclave somewhere and trying to build a fan base organically. But then, it depends what you want out of life. If you're happy slinging fries during the day and maintaining some shred of dignity by clinging to the show you've got coming up later in the week, salud.

If You Were Smart, You Would Be Drunk While You're Reading This

According to a study from the University of Glasgow, the higher your IQ, the more you're susceptible to the lure of the sauce.

"The correlation existed even after factoring out socioeconomic status, and was stronger in women than it was in men. "

I'm not saying it's suspicious that this particular study originated in Scotland, but aren't the Scots leaders in the field of alcohol related heart conditions and deaths directly related to booze and cigarettes?

What a Fucking Surprise

With the new NBA season one or two sleeps away, New York Knicks kinda-legend and officially most overpaid player of all time Alan Houston announced that (for the second straight season) his comeback attempt had failed.

I'm not a betting man, but if someone opened a book on this when it was first announced that the 38 year old shooter with the arthritic knees of an octogenarian was giving it another go, I would have totally bet everything I had on him doing exactly what he did. Which was nothing.

First up is Miami on Wednesday night, it's always a mixed bag at the start of the season but Miami seem kinda shit to me so if the Knicks get blown out then that will just be an excellent sign all round.

Tell John Starks to quit coaching Slamball and come back to NYC to try and redeem himself for that Game 7 brain melt.

From Jeers to Cheers

Ever since the inception of the A League, Australia's bold new national football flagship (or soccer, for you suckers), the Melbourne Victory have been the best, most passionately supported club in the country (completely unbiased opinion, obviously). A major part of that has been the Blue and White Brigade and their outstanding and consistent support. Today, they were initially told they could no longer use the 'political' symbol (linked to the unions) of the Eureka stockade flag.

"The Eureka flag was actually the first emblem of the first Victory supporters' group. We've had the Eureka flag at our games since day dot, and all of a sudden it's got political connotations and we can't fly it," said Adam Tennenini, leader of the Blue and White Brigade supporters' group."

Luckily, a few hours after it was announced, this popped up.

" a statement released this morning FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said the banning of the flag was "unintended'' and would be reversed."

You're damn right. Now, everybody sing, "Vic-tore-eeee-yaahhhhh!"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

As Your Attorney, I Advise You To Check This Out

My friend G put me on to this, if you live in MEL and you fancy yourself as one of those unique, quirky Melbournians who shop for their books on Brunswick Street and wouldn't be caught dead in Borders, then go check this movie about the life and times of Hunter S. Thompson. It's on at ACMI, of course.

I'll catch up with you in a book store on Brunswick Street afterward.

I'm Bringing "Bless You" Back (Yeah!)

Over the past few months, I've been slowly infusing any environment that I regularly inhabit with a diligent sense of social grace. If you pass me on the street, and you sneeze, you will be blessed.

Penny Arcade would applaud

Maybe This Is What The Revolution Looks Like

Apparently, when the revolution starts it's gonna start in Dublin.

"In a day of protest not seen since the heady days of the PAYE demonstrations 20 years ago, Kildare Street was transformed into a heaving mass of anger."

It makes perfect sense that the old folks would kick it off, and then us younger, more able bodied people would carry out the meat of it. Old people have a lot more to be pissed off about, due to longevity if nothing else.

The Humpty Dance, Here's Your Chance.....

I'm not sure why, but I found myself thinking about Digital Underground and Humpty Hump today. Then I remembered this great commercial that he appeared in with Charles Barkley (who deserves a few posts of his own).

Greenspan Has a Breakthrough

Former master of the universe and devil's advocate, Alan Greenspan, has had an epiphany (or appropriately extreme guilt attack). He's 'realised' that his assumption that banks would have the best interests of their stockholders at heart was wrong.

"Greenspan called this "a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works"."

After 20 years of controlling the purse strings, and taking as large a hand as any other individual in shaping and enabling what the banks would or wouldn't have at heart, it kinda feels like a grade A line of bullshit.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This Really Burns My Ass

You can say what you want about any of the other losers on this list of 8 sporting greats who had it all and then threw it away, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna sit here and let some web geek denigrate this man.......

Georgie Best is a hero who achieved it all in world football by the time he was 27, not some tragic booze hound who pissed his talent away. He's not to be compared to the other fuckers on this list (ok, maybe I'm being a bit harsh to Iron Mike - he was a bad motherfucker before the anger sharks that swim in his head officially took over). But Joey Barton? When did that little miscreant ever 'have it all?' Honestly, how many of you beloved TWNR readers even know who he is? I rest my case.

For fuck's sake.

This Is An Image Of A Giant Spider Eating A Bird

That's how we roll in Northern Australia, son.

That is all.

Finally, Some Positive Press For Booze!

After months of images like this from the fear mongers (the bouncer is just off balance and trying to steady himself - what? It's obvious), finally us tragic Lushes have some cold, hard scientific evidence to back us up. Sort of.

The fact that two different friends who don't even know each other sent me the link for the story about how drinking leads to happiness makes me think that I may be making some interesting life choices.

"It's almost certain that social connection that is facilitated by the process of moderate drinking that is beneficial to wellbeing rather than the alcohol itself."

Not true. I was in the Celtic Club the other week and a bunch of Irish lads were getting on great when the chat was at a minimum and the pints were flowing freely. As soon as they started paying more attention to the conversation than the poison, one of them ended up on his back with a guy he had been 'socially connecting' with sitting on his chest and pounding punches into his face.

It's just the booze that makes us happy. The people are shit.

Everyone Wants To Get Their Rocks Off

Amid the most serious financial situation that most of us have seen in our lifetimes, we are reminded that at the end of the day, we all just want to have fun.

This article details how the wife of an IMF chief has bravely and responsibly decided to look the other way on her husband's infidelity (the article doesnt' say "for the good of the economy," but it's got that built right into it, right?).

"Just this, before any malevolent rumours start, a few quick details: everyone knows that these things can happen in the life of any couple. For my part, this one-night stand is behind us. We have turned the page," Ms Sinclair, 60, said.

How mature, how sophisticated, how European, how........... GIMME A FUCKIN' BREAK!

I don't suppose it could have anything to do with the fact that her IMF Chief Hubby earns a squazillion dollars a year and will officially become richer than God with a huge pay-off when he resigns or retires?

Norther Ireland: Same As It Ever Was

Gerry Adams keeps fighting the good fight up there, he's championing an Irish Language Act that he shouldn't really have to be championing (it was in fact a term of the agreement which paved the way for devolution of power back to the people of Northern Ireland). Of course, not everybody up North thinks it's a good idea.

"The failure to proceed with the Act is one of the main issues - along with the devolution of policing powers, post primary education and plans for a sports stadium at the former Maze prison — that has led to the deadlock at Stormont, where the Sinn Fein/DUP led executive has not met for four months."

Now, no one is suggesting that things are reverting back to the bad old days when everything in Belfast was exploding and the Brits stepped in, but it would be foolish to think that the paramilitaries - both Republican and Loyalist - have been inactive so long that they couldn't pick up where they left off. Things remain peaceful in Northern Ireland, and God willing it will remain so, but it's worth keeping an eye on.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Trying To Save The Trees While Workers Kick You In The Head

With the economy finally threatening to do like Marx said it would and eat itself, while the planet continues to get fucked up coz who the fuck are you to tell me to take the bus or walk, there's gonna be a lot more of this.

When a Tree Hugger tries to stop a Joe Six-Pack from earning his daily crust, and said Tree Hugger is hopped up on Al Gore juice while Joe Six-Pack is fixated on his ever-in-threat mortgage, sparks are gonna fly.

"The contractor set upon the car with a sledgehammer and then dragged the activist out from the car and kicked him in the head while he was lying on the ground."

It's ok though, the 'activists' filmed the attack.

I Love An Atheist Who Hedges Their Bets

Only probably, huh? I didn't know that Richard Dawkins was so cashed up, but apparently he's matching dollar for dollar any amount people donate to the cause, up to five and a half thousand POUNDS. Shit man, with the dollar as weak as it is right now I'll get that tattooed on my chest for four thousand.

This Doesn't Happen Every Day

I'm wondering when the last time was that a new state of matter was discovered, other than when I gaze, confused, at my own leftover on a Saturday afternoon (you must've figured out a pattern for Friday nights by now).

Apparently they've discovered a 'quasi-three-dimensional electron crystal' in a transistor.

"This discovery could have momentous implications for the development of new electronic devices. Currently, the number of transistors that can be inexpensively crammed onto a single computer chip increases exponentially, doubling approximately every two years, a trend known as Moore's Law."

Yeah, cool, but really who gives a fuck about that? IT'S A NEW STATE OF MATTER!

A Timely Reminder To Not Piss Off Your Waiter

Everybody has heard the horror stories about shit getting dropped on the floor in restaurant kitchens (the 5 second rule), waiters spitting in meals when uppity customers keep sending their steak back coz it isn't cooked right - but now someone on the inside has made it official.

A New York waiter has written a tell-all book about the tricks of the trade.

"Waiters do spit in food, Dublanica writes, although he prefers psychological revenge and power plays. Like embarrassing you by pretending your credit card has a problem, engaging in subtle put-downs in front of your dining companions, losing your reservation, seating you next to the men's room and much worse. These tactics are usually reserved, it seems, for truly objectionable, abusive customers. But if you don't tip properly, watch out."

Still sceptical? Watch a film called Waiting...

I'm Hoping All This Builds To Something Too

Classic material from a very funny comic strip that a friend of mine put me on to. Apparently the dude responsible digs up old strips and adds his own speech bubbles. It might sound like he doesn't add much to the equation, but it's pretty fucking funny.

Pigs Are Flying

If you're from Melbourne, or you've spent any length of time here at all, you know that what we do best (aside from coffee, gangland whackings, AFL Grand Finals, rich & varied gourmand spots, Babalonian Friday night revelling - I could go on) is unpredictable weather.

So it was with great alarm and disgust that I flicked the TV on this morning to watch my cartoons (whilst slurping my soggy Sultana Bran) only to find out that for THE THIRD STRAIGHT DAY THE WEATHER WAS 'OVERNIGHT LOW OF 12 AND PREDICTED HIGH OF 18.' Even the ambiguous little graphic (Is it a sun peeking out from behind a grey cloud, or vice versa? Does a grey cloud, as opposed to a white one, denote thunder but no rain? If not, why do they then have a grey cloud with rain coming out of it, as well?) was exactly the same.

I'm all too easily bored and depressed by the quotidian as it is, my friends. I don't need the weather channel getting all Groundhog Day on me as well. Even worse, that's one less thing that we can talk about with people that we don't know very well, in awkward situations that demand at least token conversation. What am I gonna say if I get stuck in an elevator today with an acquaintance I don't have anything in common with? "The weather seems the same today." That's shit. Oh well, I guess I'll bring up the credit crunch, that's pretty evergreen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Power, Same People Getting Screwed

I was gonna post this harrowing, honest account of African miner exploitation a while back but it kind of got lost in the shuffle. I dug it out and read it again today and I thought it definitely bore revisiting.

Basically, it's a first hand account of a journalist's near death escape from an incensed throng of African miners who were terrified that negative press would deprive them of their jobs, and thus their very existence.

"Out of desperation, much of the continent is selling itself into a new era of corruption and virtual slavery as China seeks to buy up all the metals, minerals and oil she can lay her hands on: copper for electric and telephone cables, cobalt for mobile phones and jet engines - the basic raw materials of modern life."

If you can look past the fact that this western journalist's view may be skewed (he says, "China's cynical new version of imperialism in Africa is a wicked enterprise." New? Doesn't sound that different to the good ol' fashioned British version, to me) then it's a rigorously outspoken and informative good read.

They kept this shit quiet during the construction of the Olympics facilities, didn't they?

I Loved Castles When I Was a Kid

Too bad I was born in The Colonies, where there's nary a castle in sight. Check out these suckers though. As Ron Burgundy would say, don't act like you're not impressed.

Classic Material

"I think I just dropped something..... my jaw."


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Amazing Images: New York, Then and Now

Me and my man Tek were talking about revisiting NYC the other night (we were there with BVP back in 2000 and did a show midtown at Howard College), and then I found this nice collection of then-and-now pics of, as Nas puts it, 'the most famous city in the whole fuckin' world.'

We'll be back in Harlem October 2010 to mark the tenth anniversary of our first trip, sipping Bacardi dark in the basement of St. Nick's pub.

Hopefully the jazz band Harlem Soul are still kicking around and we can talk drunken shit to them again about bringing them out to tour Australia.

Don't Ask Me Why

I have nothing to offer in the way of explanations. Me likey, simple as that. I damn sure wasn't gonna look to the comments left under the clip on You Tube for context, coz being an artist myself who has a few clips kicking around the place, I know the futility of that little exercise. It's amazing how many people not only think their opinions matter, but think that they matter so much they have to bestow them on the world. Piggy backed on the work of an artist who has actually done something, I might add.

Anyway, enjoy. Or don't. I don't give a shit.

If You Come Through MEL Airport, Everyone Will See These.....

Believe it or not, this pretty excellent graphic is not the motivation behind this post. Last week I stumbled upon this article, which details how new security scanners at Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport will actually show your naughty places.

"The scanner uses a low energy X-ray to reveal any objects, metal or otherwise, under a person's clothing, including body features. The testing will be entirely voluntary during the trial , which is being undertaken to test how the new scanners would affect the flow of passengers through the security point."

If it truly is 'entirely voluntary,' then I find myself asking what kind of sicko/exhibitionist would put their hand (or whatever) up for this?

Stupid Americans and Cocaine Cowboys

This clip, where some 'intrepid' American travellers buy their way into meeting a Coca farmer is interesting and informative in a number of ways, but most notably in as much as it highlights yet again the ignorant and oblivious 'bullet-proof' mentality that a lot of yanks seem to have.

Honestly, how the fuck are you gonna offer some Columbian dudes $9 US to visit a Cocaine factory, and think that it's all good?

Ain't they quaint? Ain't they crazy?


Dr. Dre: The Road to Detox

This is an interesting look at Dre's musical evolution between his last solo album (The Chronic 2001 back in '99) and the supposed imminent arrival of his third solo album, Detox.

Personally, I don't know if he'll ever release it and I think people have moved way beyond the excited anticipation stage anyway. It's kinda at the, "Oh, Dre actually went ahead and did Detox? Huh, how about that" stage.

Having said that, you know it will be banging if it ever does come out. Dre just flat out doesn't make bad music.

What I really wanna hear is Dre produce the entirety of this mythical, fantasy, supposed-to-be album from Nas, Scarface and Ice Cube. Now that would be something I'd get excited over.

Call Off The Search Party

Rumours of my demise have been exaggerated, so all 4 of you who regularly read TWNR need not worry that your favourite urban poet/dilettante has fallen by the wayside. My girl was using my laptop to study for a work-related exam, and given that a couple of crack heads broke into her house earlier this year and stole her Mac book, she had to use mine.

Anyway, no news is good news. I could've posted a little something yesterday but thanks to Arthur J. Guinness, our good friends who tend the bar at The Celtic Club on a Friday night, and my man Biz passing me a little something under the table at The Order of Melbourne, I was in the middle of a Hangover Event Horizon.

So The Knicks beat the reigning World Champ Celtics, Glasgow Celtic FC beat Inverness CT, and Arsenal cleaned up Everton - a pretty good weekend for Digga. Except none of these things turned out to be that comforting. Here's why:

1. It's only pre-season in the NBA and teams are running out their experimental squads, so the Knicks result means nothing
2. Celtic were up against it all game against Inverness, and can consider themselves lucky to have not lost (or at least drawn). Even worse, with their two preferred strikers injured and Aussie Scott McDonald underperforming (he was dragged at the hour mark), The Biz might actually be right about the chubby champion
3. Arsenal may have won 3-1, but Chelsea won 5-0 and Man U won 4-0. That says it all about the EPL

That is all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Back To The Drawing Board For Slow Poke Digga

I swear to God I was gonna do a track like this, using old school Windows sounds. Not that the samples would've cleared in a million years anyway, so it don't really matter. The best thing about this clip is they seem to be using a tracker program (word to Tek). That's Gangsta. Late Nineties Gangsta.

Klitschko Mushing Some Poor Shmoe Right In The Kisser

This is how I feel every Monday morning. And I'm not talkin' from the vantage point of the gloved hand (that's how I feel on a Friday night - though, curiously, I simultaneously feel like the mushed face also).

Anyway, if you need context, the World Heavyweight Championship was on the line and the big Ukranian took it from Samuel Peter.

Who cares, right? It's all about that picture.

Disclaimer For The Biz: This May Make You Mad

But everyone else needs to read this, because it's a very interesting take on the current financial crisis (and indeed global financial management in general) from a man who is quite literally a genius. I speak of Noam Chomsky. He revolutionised Linguistics in the Fifties, and then went on to produce such seminal sociological/political works as Manufacturing Consent (a critical look at the role of Media in our society).

In this particular article, he gives the current crisis a historical perspective by discussing the Bretton Woods system that was created after The Second World War.

"Bretton Woods was the system of global financial management set up at the end of the second World War to ensure the interests of capital did not smother wider social concerns in post-war democracies."

Chomsky has this to say about the way things have gone down since Bretton Woods was abandoned, which was around 1971:

"In dramatic contrast, in the neoliberal phase after the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system in the 1970s, the US treasury now regards free capital mobility as a "fundamental right", unlike such alleged "rights" as those guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: health, education, decent employment, security and other rights that the Reagan and Bush administrations have dismissed as "letters to Santa Claus", "preposterous", mere "myths"."

Read the whole thing. It's worth it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunshine, Croissants, Random Hecklers and Anthony Mason

So the other day I was strolling around the 'hood (Smith St. Collingwood, East Melbourne - recognize, bitch) and decided I'd take the bait and try the new gourmet chocolate joint on Smith St. that had been enticing me with a 'Fresh Croissants' sign out the front these past couple of weeks. It was a beautiful almost-summer day, and I was wearing one of my favourite T-Shirts - a retro 'New York Knicks 1970 World Champions' joint.

As I walked in the place, some random dude zinged me, looking at my T-Shirt and saying, "Isn't that the last time they won the championship?" to which I said nothing, and kind of grunted truculently (I realised about 12 seconds later that I should have said, "No, they won it again in '73, dick").

I then proceeded to the counter where I ordered my croissant, and the attendant looked at my T-Shirt and said, "You know, all you guys really need to get back on track is someone like Anthony Mason. That guy was a fucking beast."

And you know what? He was absolutely right. Unfortunately, we'll have to make do with Danilo fucking Gallinari, who is the most un-Anthony Mason-like player since, well, this guy....

On My Deathbed I'm Gonna Attain Total Enlightenment, So I Got That Goin' For Me

This one's for my man Che.

A rundown of some of Bill Murray's lesser known roles. This dude is definitely one of the funniest motherfuckers of all time, and he just keeps adding to his legacy. I'm not talking about such recent successes as Lost In Translation, either. I'm talking about him drink driving a golf buggy around some town in Scandinavia and then refusing to take a breath test after getting pulled over.

As far as this list goes, gotta say I haven't seen that many of the flicks covered but What About Bob? is pure, unadulterated genius. Richard Dreyfuss is great as the tightly wound shrink, as well.

James Earl Jones Recites The Alphabet

Seriously, that's all it is. But you know James Earl Jones will give it more gravitas than your punk ass ever could.

Easy As 1, 2, 3, Simple As Doe Ray Me

If you don't know by now, you'll never know (that I'm fascinated by words, letters, language, communication). These weird, and occasionally disturbing, alphabets are just great.

I'm Talkin' Basketball

With the new NBA season just around the corner, and The Knicks on track to suck as mightily as they have ever sucked in the past (which is A LOT of sucking - imagine Linda Lovelace on steroids), I thought it would be nice to cast our minds back to the good old days. Now I know what you're gonna say - yes I'm a Knicks fan, and yes this clip shows Chicago Bulls legend and kick ass dead-beat-daddy (I swear this dude lost track of how many kids he fathered and just started shelling out to any groupie with a claim) Scottie Pippen decimating Patrick Ewing. But damn, I just loved the tit-for-tat that Pippen and Spike Lee used to get into. Watch for Scottie going over to the sidelines and giving it to Spike Lee after he violates Ewing.

Ah, memories.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Can't Believe No One's Thought of This Yet.....

I was watching the Presidential candidate debate today (well not really, I was actually watching a real-time stream of arm chair political commentators and would-be comics reel off the snappy one-liners about it on Twitter), and it dawned on me that no one has drawn the obvious parallel between Senators McCain and Obama (portrayed above as AmeriKKKa would like to see her politicians) and another John McCain with an African American whom he does not necessarily like but has to spend face time with. I speak, of course, of.....

Yippy Kai-Yay motherfucker! Remember that scene from Die Hard With a Vengeance where John McCain (Bruce Willis) is compelled to walk around Harlem with a placard on his chest that says, "I Hate N***ers?" All I'm saying is, I'm pretty sure Senator McCain referred to Senator Obama as 'that one,' during the debate today.

Racist, or just garden variety asshole? You decide.

Lexical Downsizing In These Belt-Tightening Times

The Dow Jones is down 500 points, I know we all have to re-evaluate our lifestyle choices, maybe do a little inventory consolidating, but for the love of God - don't let them jettison these 24 excellent words from the Collins English Dictionary!

My personal favourite (although it was very, very hard to choose) has to be:

Apodeictic: Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration.

Oh, what the hell. One more:

Oppugnant: Combative.

If You're Crazy And You Know It, Draw a Picture

This article links a variety of mental illnesses, most notably bi-polar disorder, to the creative condition.

"Experts say mental illness does not necessarily cause creativity, nor does creativity necessarily contribute to mental illness, but a certain ruminating personality type may contribute to both mental health issues and art."

It seems to me that it would be extraordinarily difficult to prove this kind of link, but I think there's something to it. You would too, if you knew some of the deranged geniuses that I know.

By the way - 'ruminating personality type' - excellent term.

Monday, October 6, 2008

And I Haven't Even Seen Machu Picchu Yet

Italian researchers have used new remote sensing technology to discover a huge adobe Pyramid beneath the surface in Peru's Cahuachi desert region.

"Featuring a 300-by-328-foot base, the newly discovered pyramid consists of at least "four degrading terraces which suggest a truncated pyramid similar to the Grand Pyramid." With seven levels, this imposing monument was sculpted from the landscape and enhanced by large adobe walls."

If this financial meltdown kicks up a gear or two, and things get real up in here, we are gonna realise how vastly inferior we are to the people who did stuff like this.

Damn It Feels Good to be a Banksta

Current affairs, cynical parody, and classic Gangsta Rap. I just can't put my finger on why I like this so much.

What's The Story, Belligerent Rockstar with Little-to-No Redeeming Features?

Quite apart from his trashing of Jay Z headlining Glastonbury, Noel Gallagher has always been great for a laugh. His complete inability to recognise the talent of anybody else in the music universe ever, and his 'Holy Jesus, I'm such a wasted trash bag, look how many pills I can swallow while drinking this pint' schtick have pissed off many a previously-impartial observer.

Some Irish guy (having just gotten his Canadian citizenship papers) jumped up on stage at a show and kicked fuck out of the poisonous little Mancunian.

While his 'I don't have a drop of English blood in me' bullshit makes me momentarily second-guess my own Celtic pride, I have to give him props for this:

"...I remember my mam would only buy Irish butter and milk."

Word up, Home Slice. My mum used to do stuff like that too. Still does, actually. There's always Irish Breakfast tea at my folks' place.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

When You Practice Anything for 4 Hours a Day....

... you can do stuff like this.

Seriously though, it's a well known fact that I am the greatest basketballer in the history of the game (who never played professionally, of course) but this kid is a freak. And it's not even about all the AND1-style handles he displays - I just can't believe how smooth his jump shot is for an 11 year old.


Wow. What can I possibly add? You all know what I'm thinking, right?

Yup, nice legs. Seriously, that's all I've got to say.

Do We Care About 'Top 10' Lists, and If So, Why?

I have a real love/hate relationship with any kind of 'The Greatest 100 Albums of All Time' type of list, especially when it's authoredby a bunch of complete nobodies with an opinion and a keyboard, like this one.

Part of me accepts that, like all art (and many other facets of the human experience), it's all subjective and I need not take any of it on board. But another part of me sees the numbers counting down, and the pithy throwaway comments made about these pieces of work that artists have put their heart and soul into, and wants to slap the shit out of any music-scene-fanboy who has the audacity to reduce the art to a pile of numbers in such a self-satisfied manner.

ANYWAY, as regards this particular list (The Top 100 Albums of 1990s), you lose if you don't include any Ice Cube or Jay-Z albums on your list, and if the highest ranking Rap album is Public Enemy Fear of a Black Planet (at # 17, if you must know). Ice Cube Death Certificate was quite literally the soundtrack for the L.A. riots, and all of Jay Z's late '90s efforts (most notably Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life) set the template and trend for much of what is still going on in the now-ubiquitous "Urban Music" category.

Biggie's rhymes being characterised as 'sensational and vitriolic' (FLOW, motherfuckers, Biggie was all about flow), and Nas Illmatic only managing a # 33 ranking are two more reasons why I want to pee on all of the good folk at Pitchfork media (at least all those involved in this list).

And yes, I'm aware that much of the above renders me a pot next to some kind of charred water-boiling device.

Long Live Cool Hand Luke

I'm late with this, but I don't give a fuck. Paul Newman passed away recently, and it's really tough to know where to start with this man. Devastatingly handsome but determined to be evaluated rather on, primarily, his human decency and humility, and secondarily, on his serious and dedicated approach to his chosen craft of acting, Paul Newman was by all accounts completely unaffected by his physical beauty, his fame, or his fortune.

He has been a significant influence on me, as I grew up hearing my dad (who is an unbelievably good snooker/pool player) tell me repeatedly what a great movie The Hustler was. It took me about 15 years but I finally caught up to my old man's wisdom a few years back, and Newman's turn as Fast Eddie Felson will forever rank among my favourite performances. The DVD is never too far out of reach, and I think I watch at least once or twice a year.

Of course there were so many other incredible performances in excellent movies: Cool Hand Luke, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Hombre, and later on The Verdict. But he'll always be Fast Eddie to me.

"It's a great feeling boy, it's a real great feeling - when you're right, and you know you're right."