Thursday, April 28, 2005

Speedy Motorcycle, I love you.

- Don’t Fall In!: These 3-d street paintings are amazing.

- Son of a Niche!: I find this concert line-up to be extremely interesting. At some levels, the fact that Nas and Fabolous will be sharing a stage with Dropkick Murphy’s is cute and interesting and sort’ve important on a “look, people are opening their minds” type of deal. And, of course, everybody’s “favorite music” lists on myspace contain everything from Radiohead to Jay-Z. It’s gotten to the point where if someone asks you what kind of music you like, you are shocked if someone doesn’t say “Everything.” But, while this might initially seem to be a good thing, I can’t shake the feeling that it also seems to be a victory of sorts for advanced capitalism and the Culture Industry. After all, the more people’s tastes and niches overlap, the less responsibility the Culture Industry has to provide us with a variety of products. The last thing I want to suggest is that I’m upset that rappers and punk rockers are sharing a stage but I am concerned about the overlapping nature of markets these days. At what point do these distinct niche markets become indistinguishable from each other? And at what point do these distinct markets collapse into one, basically eliminating the diversity and “choice”? I suppose one can make the argument now that this diversity and “choice” is, at the moment, really only the false illusion of diversity and “choice” anyway, so perhaps I’m being melodramatic. But, my only point is that Clear Channel has already standardized our tastes so much, I feel like this might be a further dangerous extension of that standardization. Who the fuck are the Dropkick Murphy’s anyway? I bet they have tattoos and play a lot of powerchords.

- What a Stupid Whale!: I’m guessing whales aren’t the smartest of mammals, but even so, this particular whale has to be one of the dumber of the already dumb species. Go home, you fucking idiot. Are you too good for your home? Apparently, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokeswoman Teri Frady shares my thoughts, saying “I wish he would go home.” What an insightful thing to say Miss Frady. I’m sure the NOAA is proud of their eloquent and perceptive spokeswoman.

- Gold!!!: Dunno who this dude is, but his(her?) post is hella funny. “Jesus Hates Your SUV,” the over-use of exclamation points, and tits. That’s all you need to know before clicking. The archives are good, too. Nuggets like: “The grief Charlie Brown feels the day Lucy actually lets him kick the football” and “I’m old school with new thoughts and open wounds.” Gold.

- Congratulations, Sergio!: So, the best writer on the internet is finally gonna get paid for his brilliance. Good job, homie.

- Farting and Adulthood!: This can adequately be described by the subtitle of this bullet. It can also adequately be described with the word "hilarious."

- Guts!: Any piece that starts with the sentence “It’s very strange to imagine — let alone to actually see — the insides of one’s own body” is worth a read. The post starts out kinda icky but ends up being quite beautiful.

- Philly shit!: I'm really not too into the Young Gunnaz single with Swizz "Set it Off" but The Fader bols are saying the new record is hot. They're right about "Sick of Waiting." That shit bangs. I was hating on Chad Hamilton for a bit, but dude is real.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you... you're cool... fuck you, fuck you...

- Who Fucking Cares?: Does anybody even care about these underground rap guys anymore? I never did and certainly don’t now that they’re fighting.

- Live at Fucking Bangkok: This review does exactly what it should do: makes me really wanna hear this DJ Shadow CD. I’m willing to be it’s not as good as Nick’s new mix CD though.

- I Fucking HATE RAIN… and everything else in the world ever: My pants are soaking wet from this fucking rain. I had an umbrella of course, but I suppose I’m too tall for that bitch or the rain was just coming down at too much of a weird angle to protect my whole body from the fucking falling water. I’m pretty annoyed that I have to sit at my desk for the rest of the day with wet ass pants and I can’t go for my daily lunch walk because it’s fucking raining. Fucking fucking shit. And on the train on the way to fucking work today, dude on the loud speaker was obnoxiously loud every time he was announcing the stops. Hella feedback and shit. It greatly impeded my napping ability and was just straight up loud as fucking shit. And now fucking NJ Transit is about to raise their fucking ticket prices and they went and changed the train schedule so I have to wake up fucking 15 fucking minutes earlier every fucking day now. Fucking shit. Waking up at 5:45 in the fucking morning is fucking so fucking god damn fucking wack. Fuck. Fuck all this shit. Not to mention the fucking Sixers are looking god awful right now. Ugh. I need to cheer the fuck up.

- FUCKING Fuck: Fuck this shit. Today sucks. I’ve resigned myself to being miserable all day. Fuck it. It’s 9:38 AM. I need a fucking beer 5 forties.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I'm gonna get drunk... so drunk... at your wedding.

- Got Beard?: These bols got the facial hair game on lock. You gotta respect their passion.

- Suddenly My House Became a Tree of Sores: Everybody knows that an artist’s greatness isn’t measured by his or her technical merit or stylistic flair. His or her greatness is inevitably determined by what he or she chooses to name his or her pieces. By those standards, David Lynch’s work rivals Salvadore Dali’s.

- Hi, I’m Sammy Saint Lucia and I’d like to see if I have herpes, please: Inspired by Michael Vick and the “Ron Mexico’s got Herpes and gave it to some random broad” fiasco, you can go here to get your very own incognito name disguise. My name is Sammy Saint Lucia. I suppose by telling you that that’s my name, it loses its incognito-ness… but, then again, maybe I’m lying. Hmmmm.

- Cathdubs Mixtape: Dope designer, solid writer, and pretty much everybody’s friend (no homo/no diss) Nick Catchdubs was kind enough to hit me with a copy of his new mixtape “Oh Snap” and it’s effin’ fire. I’m stoked he rocked the Kasablanca riddem on it because that’s my shit but nobody fucks with it when I drop it and I’m further stoked by the Tweet/Block Party blend. That shit burns. The Neneh Cherry shit is hot, too. Altogether, it’s a real fun, creative mix. Good shit, Nick. Cop that.

- Lactose Intolerance: Here’s an interesting post about lactose intoleration that Junichi over at Poplicks wrote. I feel the sentiment but I’m always bothered by these supposedly scientific tests that assume that the difference between races is some sort of scientific fact instead of what we all know it to be: a social construct. Which begs the obvious question, if race is a social construct (which is something most everyone will agree save for folks like Hitler and David Duke), how legitimate are polls like these that say “15% of White people are lactose intolerant” while “70% of African Americans are lactose intolerant.” I mean, what the fuck is the standard for “White” and what’s the standard for “African American”? What exactly can we take from tests like these? And aren’t they just legitimizing the differences between races in scientific terms? Shouldn’t scientists be a bit more responsible with their “controls”? I dunno. I realize it’s not a huge, huge deal when it comes to health and nutrition, but I’m bummed that we have to ignore the social consequences promoted by tests like these.

- Hey, Girls are Juicers, Too!: Dude, here’s a cute story about 9 year old girls using steroids to look like models and movie stars and shit. Fucking come on. This shit has got to be bullshit. The fuck? 1 in 14 girl is using steroids? Yeah fucking right. Who are these so-called “experts”?

- People Opening Up about Personal Shit: Man, shit like this is what makes the internet great. I love these little boring, personal anecdotes that are clichéd and hackneyed because of Hollywood depictions of them but aren’t boring at all because they’re honest and real and just so fucking human. There’s 6 billion people on this stupid earth which means there’s at least 6 billion narratives to accompany each of these people and it’d be fucking ridiculous to not expect some of them to overlap and parallel a whole bunch of others. I love this shit.

- MP3s: Aaron and Rollie have been killing it lately. Dope mp3s are posted this very moment (Tweet RJD2 remix and the new Missy and Pharrell shit that’s gonna be big). Go cop.


Monday, April 25, 2005

Soldering people together creating a human sculpture...

- Day Off: Took a day off on Friday to head o’er to Penn State for the Blue and White game and my sister’s 21st birthday. I went to Penn State for four and half years of my life (roughly 1600 days) and I still have no idea what the fuck the Blue and White game even is (I didn’t read the article I linked above). I think it’s just like a scrimmage between the starters and the benchers, but I have no idea how or why anyone would find this shit remotely interesting—especially since we’ve been sucky for a solid 3 years. Joe Pa is good peoples, but dude is a bit on the senile side. He needs to bow out.

- Weird: This blog is kinda scary… but dope. Scroll down for some J.R. Writer shit.

- I’m Getting Old: I think I’ve spoken about “the McTwist” before, but it’s worth re-speaking about because it’s comedy. When skateboarding on a vert ramp, when you do an inverted 540 degree air born maneuver (hah!), that shit is called a McTwist. Me and my buddy Bo both grew up skateboarding… and drinking 40s. So, it seemed only natural to transcribe the terminology from one activity to the other so we came up with the brilliant notion that drinking 5 40s in one day should be called “a McTwist.” I’ve only successfully performed one McTwist (the drinking version, not the skateboard version), but my success rate until this weekend was 100% (meaning the only time I tried it, I did it). This past weekend at Penn State seemed like a good opportunity to perform another of these fabled McTwists. So, on Saturday, we started sipping on 40s around 2:30 in the afternoon figuring that’d be plenty of time to get all 200 ounces of malt liquor (that’s about 3,000 calories) into my body before meeting up with my sister for her birthday. Well, 3 and a half forties later, I can’t keep my fucking eyes open and am passing out while watching the Pacers get STOMPED. I figured “fuck it, might as well take a nap.” Bad idea. I woke up 15 minutes later HUNG OVER. Fucking same day hangovers are so not hot. My head was killing me and I felt like I was gonna fucking die. My man Bo kept on chugging though. On the whole, he probably drank 6 40s which is impressive as fuck, especially considering when we went out later on that night he was drinking mixed drinks. Dude is a mother fucking WARRIOR. Me on the other hand? I’m a bitch and I’m getting old. I’m sorry, Bo. I let you down.

- Record Covers: There’s a shit-load of hot record covers posted over on the soulstrut board. Records are so pretty.

- Destroy and Rebuild: Here’s my deep thought for the day: destroying things is so much easier than creating things. As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the most annoying and unfair things about life. I remember walking into the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State the day of my graduation seeing thousands of chairs lined up all neat and shit for the graduating students to sit in during their boring ass matriculation ceremony and I thought to myself “It probably took someone hours to get all this shit all lined up and put in its proper place and shit, and it would take me all of 90 seconds to run through this place throwing the chairs everywhere and ruining hours worth of work.” Isn’t that shit annoying? Destroying shit is so much fucking quicker and easier than building shit. And I suppose the lesson from that should be something like “Creating something is that much more fulfilling and pleasurable because it takes time and effort” but fuck that shit. Fucking shit up is hella fun while putting in hella work to make something often sucks. Similarly, I always found it spectacularly annoying that it takes two people to start a relationship but only one person to end it. Like, what the fuck? What kind of shit is that? Where is the justice? If I was God, I would totally make shit like that way more balanced out.

- You mad: This is pretty got damn old but if you haven’t seen it by now, you really should. Cam is really a genius and I’m plagiarizing the following thoughts from some dude from the holler board because he’s largely on-point. In response to the following quote, “i wanted so bad to be there next to dame speaking to these dudes cause cam just made the both of them look pretty stupid. i mean he'd make a joke and dame would laugh too and the whole opportunity for realspeak was deaded” smart dude says “see, that's what i used to think like regarding o'reilly's show. but then, since real talk gets blown off and he just throws out other shit, getting things twisted and reinforcing his own statements into the audience's brains, you might as well go on that show and act a fool, maybe get a few digs in on him. trying to play a game of wits on that show is like how chris rock described why men have a disadvantage when arguing with a woman: the handicap of actually having to make sense.” Word.

- More Crack: More crack from the holler board can be found right here. That shit’s fucking hilarious.

- Zoe Strauss: My man Cosmo Baker’s sister Zoe Strauss is having her yearly photography exhibit May 1. Click here to read about the show. I’ma try my darndest to swing through.

- Finally: Love me or leave me alone. That’s all I ask.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Told the dealer she was a cheater, but he's a buster...

- The Soon-To-Be Marketable Nature of Nomenclature: An ex-girl friend of mine named a star after me. That was probably the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for me. It’s EASILY the nicest thing a girl’s ever done for me. Kind’ve weird to think that one of them lil’ dots up in the sky is named E*** N****r. That’s pretty real. But anyway, this is, ya know, similar but slightly more dubious and rather obviously about marketing more than it is about, well, being kind and thoughtful. certainly has some creative marketers.

- T.R.O.Y.: Everyone’s favorite NBA analyst spits some heartfelt shit about Coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines who died last week of a stroke. It’s some beautiful shit. Get choked-up.

- Hoop Dreams Sequel: Speaking of basketball, remember the movie Hoop Dreams? Apparently, they’re making a sequel of it. As Byron Crawford says: The individuals involved with the making of that film had visited its two subjects, Arthur Agee and William Gates, this past fall, and, apparently, saw something gully enough that they felt it warranted not just a bonus feature on the new DVD - to be released next month - but a full-on sequel. Sounds interesting of course, but also sounds a bit tragic. Chances are they aren’t making a sequel because the kids and their families are doing really well.

- Holy shit: This is a fucking wild story. Murder, betrayal, jail time, domestic abuse, and a whole bunch of other crazy shit makes this story fucking nuts.

- Flawed Divorce Rate Stat: The New York Times ran an interesting article that states that the divorce rate probably isn’t as high as we’ve been lead to believe. Pretty interesting stuff.

- J.R. Writer: While browsing over on, I stumbled across the J.R. Writer mixtape and suddenly remembered a dream I had from last night where I was chilling with J.R. All I really remember is telling him how much I liked his “I chill with the coppers, you chill with the coppers” line. Anyway, I bet the mixtape has its moments. J.R. is really just a poor man’s Cam/Juelz as far as delivery, but what he lacks in star-power and unadulterated charisma, he makes up for in sheer cleverness. Anybody heard this shit?

- Rejoice!: Serg’s site Beer And Rap is back in the building thanks to noz’s nerdiness. Blogger gets the dillz for preventing the world from getting its frequent dose of Serg’s brilliance… but he’s back, and we are certainly happy about it.

- Michael Moore is at it again: You know, I’m not a Micheal Moore lover or hater. The best and worst I will say about him is that I think he’s made some funny and insightful films. Sure, they’re all a bit on the subjective side, but fuck it, literally EVERYYTHING is subjective and some Leftist propaganda to combat the wingnut propaganada overload is always welcome. Anyway, I must admit, his idea for a scholarship for “rebels” is pretty damn hysterical.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I used to cluck 'em, fuck 'em, and duck 'em, but now I'm more mature, I fuck 'em, fuck 'em, and fuck 'em.

- Explicit Content ONLY: Remember that Too Short cut on his album where he bleeped out every single bad word in the song and basically you couldn’t understand any of it? Well this is the exact opposite of that with NWA’s classic “Straight Outta Compton.” NOTHING but curse words with all the non-curse words bleeped out. Pretty funny. I’ve always admired Dr. Dre for being so clearly a studio-gangsta and yet he is just so dope at what he does, he still gets hood respect. That’s real.

- Apache: This article about the bboy anthem we all know and love is quite good: "a record written by a white Englishman imitating Native Americans as portrayed by white Americans and made famous by a Dane with a vaguely Hawaiian sound, arranged by a Canadian, became the biggest record in black New York."

- I admire you, Ms. Marla Ruzicka: Some fucko is still trying to convince me to admire the Weather Underground because they were passionate or something. Fuck those dudes. You want somebody to admire, how about Marla Ruzicka. R.I.P., homie.

- Organ Donor: I suppose this is relevant given the whole Terry Schiavo thingermerbobber that popped-off over the last few months. Apparently on some hospital TV show (“Grey’s Anatomy”?), there was some portrayal of the organ donation process which was fairly inaccurate. I’m a firm believer in organ donation, and this article articulately articulates why organ donation is a good thing and that stupid TV show didn’t fairly represent the process

- Got Interviews?: The Paris Review’s DNA of Literature Project is underway and they are posting all their interviews with authors by decade. There’s some hot stuff up in thurr, up in thurr. Shit should keep me “busy” at work for the next few hours.

- Thank God I found you!: I’m so happy I found out Steven Shaviro has a blog. Dude is fucking brilliant. I applied to grad school at the University of Washington on the strength of him alone teaching there—which I later found to be supremely stupid because Shaviro didn’t even teach grad classes (doh!). But, anyway, this is only really relevant to a handful of grad school dorks who are familiar with Theodor Adorno’s critique of popular music and the culture industry, but it’s articulated in such a breath-takingly clear and effective manner that I’ve got to quote it here:

“The real problem with Adorno's and Attali's denunciations is that they content themselves with essentially lazy and obvious criticisms of commodity culture, while failing to plumb the commodity experience to its depths, refusing to push it to its most extreme consequences. The only way out is through. The way to defend popular music against the Frankfurt School critique -- not that I think it even needs to be defended -- is not by taking refuge in notions of ‘authenticity’ in order to deny its commodity status, but rather to work out how the power of this music comes out of -- rather than existing in spite of -- its commodity status, how it works through the logic of repetition and commodification, and pushes this further than any capitalist apologetics would find comfortable.” Man, oh fucking man. So fucking beautiful.

Now, I agree with Shaviro’s sentiment that popular music finds its power precisely because of its commodity status (instead of inspite of that status) but I wonder if he’s being a bit too harsh on Adorno (as mentioned I haven’t read Attali). Perhaps I’m giving Adorno too much credit when I want to say that Shaviro’s reading of him seems a bit harsh. To be sure, Adorno doesn’t seem to like popular commodity culture that much (understatement) and there’s been a great deal of work written about Adorno that basically passes him off as a snob who doesn’t like anything except atonal White classical music and other challenging (i.e. pretty unlikable), authentic high-culture texts. But, frankly, I think a fair close reading of Adorno reveals that Adorno-the-text ends up admitting a similar notion of “the only way out is through” even though Adorno-the-modernist-crumudgeon seems to be longing for high-culture authenticity.

To be sure, Adorno never really downright says “yo, the only way out is through,” but a close reading the chiasmic/negative-dialectical logic he presents in “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” to me suggests that there really is no fucking way out—after all, to quote perhaps the most memorable sentence in the essay, “Something is provided for all so that none may escape.” Of course, Adorno-the-modernist-crumudgeon wants to fall back into notions of authenticity, but I think that if you read him closely, you’ll find that buried within the form as well as the actual content (a la Jeffrey Nealon’s provocative reading of Adorno) that the text is indeed admitting that there is no exit, there is no authenticity, and that the only way out is through. I should probably re-read the essay though. I haven’t read it in months.

Anyway, my point is, I think essentially that Shaviro is articulating an important point about popular music when he disagrees with Adorno’s critique, but I don’t think he’s really reading Adorno closely enough (I love claiming that people who are clearly way smarter than me aren’t reading someone closely enough). Or perhaps I’m just sticking up too much for my buddy Teddy Adorno because I think he’s brilliant and really fucking funny (albeit admittedly at times a closet racist and just all around elitist who wouldn’t be your ideal drinking partner at Oktoberfest).

I dunno. If you’re not convinced, I suggest you read Nealon’s essay. It bumps and is really funny.

- If you made it all the way down here…: Busta, Peedi, and Q-Tip joints are still up on the shrimp along with some new shit. Always worth checking out.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

It's the world famous... man, forget it...

- New shit!: Posted some new shit o’er on the shrimp for your listening pleasure. New NORE/Peedi/JustBlaze cut, new Busta cut, and a new Q-Tip/Busta cut. Go.

- Quizo: Man, the back-to-back rounds of two out of ten last night of Quizo at the bar were disastrous. However, the Sixers making the play-offs wasn’t. Now I can waste my time and energy hoping they pull off something miraculous. I said it once and I’ll say it again, I still firmly believe that I am significantly harder than Chris Weber… and every single one of my friends will tell you that I’m the softest dude they know. That’s saying something about your boy because, got damnit, that is NOT my boy. He better man up in the play-offs or we’re screwed.

- If you’re a muslim girl considering suicide…: Watch out. The FBI is looking for you.

- American English: So, what type of American English do you speak? Me?

Your Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English

20% Yankee

15% Dixie

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

I don’t buy that “y’all” question, though. I say “y’all” because of hip-hop, not some regional shit.

- Saafir Discography: Peep the discography of the wonderful man who this humble blog is named after (Saafir the Saucee Nomad).

- Um, not cool: Tricking someone into outing himself on the radio really isn’t too funny.

- SFJ Interview: Dude is real. Cute interview.


Monday, April 18, 2005

The older I get, the younger I wish I still was...

- Getting It In: This is how I do. Thursday at the 700 club. Drunk as a skunk on a work night, flossin’ a fresh white T and DJing in what looks like a bathroom. I stay gully (and rock at least 3 t-shirts at all times). I just posted this shit to combat the excessive nerdiness I spew below.

- Houston: New York Times talking ‘bout that there Houston rap shit. Thowed. Frankly, I think a lot of that Houston shit sucks, but Slim Thug gets love from me.

- Blowjobs: Call me crazy, but I find anything remotely intellectual about fellatio and fellating and fellaters to be worth a read.

- I’m an idiot: Please Sixers, just win one game and you’re in the play-offs. Just one. Come on! But, as for what makes me an idiot? Who the fuck cares if they make the play-offs? They’re gonna get fucking stomped anyway. I dunno why I waste my energy on such stupid shit… hence, I’m an idiot.

- A Few (!) Thoughts on Intellectual Property and Music: Ok, this is stupid long, but fuck y’all. Read it anyway. So, I’ve been reading a bunch of Intellectual Property shit recently and I figured I’d post a brief history of IP that I plagiarized from several sources (most notably Calra Hesse’s “The Rise of Intellectual property, 700 BC – AD 2000”) and then talk some shit about music and the web and other shit because this is my blog and I’ll talk about whatever the fuck I want, even if this shit winds up sounding like a motherfucking academic essay. So, fuck y’all, and here goes:

Intellectual property (henceforth referred to merely as IP) is basically the concept that exclaims that an idea can be owned, whether that idea is a set of musical arrangements, a computer program, or a cure for AIDS. IP is fundamentally a child of the European Enlightenment which is to say that it is a concept that arose when folks started to think that human knowledge and creativity was not divinely inspired (i.e. through divine revelation or through the study of ancient texts) but that human knowledge and creativity was instead inspired and created within human individuals themselves. Prior to the Enlightenment, all across the world the concept of IP didn't exist yet. In the ancient Greek world, knowledge and the ability to express it was divinely inspired by the gods where muses spoke to poets and inspired them to create. Plato had a slightly different take and thought that all ideas were just a gathering of prior human soul's ideas. In both cases though, the Greeks didn't think of knowledge as property.

In China in the 5th century BC, Confuscius said "I transmit rather than create" and the measure of greatness for a Chinese scholar wasn't found in his unique innovation but in his interpretation of ancient wisdom passed down from the Gods. Wisdom and knowledge to them was something that came from the past and the human's task was to interpret, preserve, and communicate this wisdom. Notably, however, this isn't to infer that there was no book commerce in China. As early on as the 11th century, books were being sold and traded but Chinese authors didn't have property rights to their published words. In other words, the content of the book wasn't property, only the printed book was the property being bought or sold. And, you see similar views in the Islamic and Judeo-Christian worlds pretty much up until the emergence of Capitalism in the 16th century.

However, first came along the Renaissance where, amongst other things, the poet and inventor and artist where elevated into the realm of "genius." Significantly, in the Renaissance, their genius was still understood as a divinely inspired one (whether it was by God or nature) and was therefore, not just individual innovation.

In the 16th century as Capitalism started to emerge and displace feudalism, Martin Luther famously said "Freely have I received, freely I have given, and I want nothing in return" denouncing the profit motive when creating and communicating ideas. This moral disgust with the economic ends of knowledge remained in the US well into the 19th century. As George Bancrotf said in 1855, "Every form to which the hands of the artist have ever given birth, spring first into being as a conception of his mind, from a natural faculty, which belongs not to the artist exclusively, but to man."

But, just because the premodern world felt that knowledge should be available to all and was not a product of individual innovation did not mean that the ideas flowed freely amongst every citizen within these civilizations. After all, humans ultimately had to decide what knowledge was divinely inspired and what wasn't, as well as how far and wide this knowledge should by spread, and by whom. Eventually, rulers and religious authorities started controlling the production and distribution of ideas, information, and knowledge. Thus, throughout most of the early modern world, the development of commercial printing and publishing occurred through a system of state-licensed monopolies which were sanctioned by religious rulers that had no concern for intellectual property. This of course didn't prevent them from profiting off their published material.

Then, as we all know, in the 1700s literacy exploded and there was a huge rise in middle-class reading habits. Book production increased something like 400% in the 18th century. And so what did this huge increase in literacy and middle-class readership do? Well, it put a huge strain on the system of publication and all of the notions that it held dear. After all, since there was such a huge demand for printed material to read, a lot of folks decided to become writers. But, these writers weren't of the same ilk as the divinely inspired writers-- they were writers who were simply trying to get that dough, writing for commercial readership, not eternal glory.

Thus, a lot more writers started trying to claim that they were the creators of their own work rather than divinely inspired transmitters of God's truths in order for them to sell the rights to their books. “That ain’t God’s! That’s mine! Now cough up that paper.” And, as they came to see themselves as the originators of their books, they began to make the argument that their creations were their own property that should be protected like any other from of material property. As Daniel Defoe said in 1710, "A book is the Author's Property, 'tis the Child of his Inventions, the Brat of his Brai: if he sells his Property, it then becomes the Right of the Purchaser." So, basically, authors started saying "ayo, our works are our own property, but we can sell them by contract to others if we want, but we sure as hell aren't going to be constrained to losing the ownership to our manuscripts just to see them published."

But, also with the huge increase of readership came an increase in piracy. Cheaper, pirated reprints of books became available at a mass scale and a lot of these publishers proclaimed that they were serving the "public interest" against the monopolistic publishing companies. After all, they argued, didn't the greater good of making enlightening works widely available at a low cost eclipse the selfish interests of individual publishers?

So, this whole reform of the publishing industry eventually lead to widespread rethinking of the basis and purpose of knowledge and creation. Eventually two distinct views on IP emerged: the "natural property rights view" (henceforth the "NR view") and the "utalitarian view" (hencforth the "UT view"). The NR view first arose in England and is associated with three seminal folks: John Locke, Edward Young, and Denis Diderot. Locke makes the oft-quoted argument that "every man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has any right to but himself. the Labour of his Body, and the Work of his Hands, we may say, are properly his."

70 years later, poet Edward Young makes a similar argument, expanding on Locke's, stating that the author not only contributes simple labor into his book, he also necessarily marks his creation with his original personality. Denis Diderot argued similarly that products of the mind are even more uniquely the property of their creator than something like land is. Thus, in his view, literary property and IP should be even less susceptible to social regulation than something like land. But, it was Gotthold Lessing who probably made the argument best and most forcibly, sayin:, "What? The writer is to be blamed for trying to make the offspring of his imagination as profitable as he can? Just because he works with his nobles faculties he isn't supposed to enjoy the satisfaction that the roughest handyman is able to procure?"

Johann Gottlieb Fichte-- a disciple of Kant's-- provides us with perhaps the most interesting development of NR thought though. Fichte asked: if creations of the mind were indeed "property," what exactly was immaterial property? Literary property quite obviously lacked the single physical form that characterized other forms of concrete property. But, Ficthe, also asked: what about the great many people that share the same ideas? Ficthe's eventually concluded that in order for an idea to be regarded as a piece of real property, it had to be assigned some sort've distinguishing characteristic that allowed an individual, and no other, to claim it as his or her own. This quality that he finally concluded on was not the "content" or "ideas" but the very "form" in which the ideas were expressed. Thus, once a book was published, the ideas belonged to everyone, but the form/style belonged uniquely to the author.

Now on the otherside of NR view, we have the UT view which was voiced most thoroughly by French mathematician and philosopher Condorcet. He argued against the NR view, saying that "There can be no relationship between property in ideas and [property] in a field, which can serve only one man. [Literary property] is not a property derived from the natural order and defended by a social force; it is a property founded in society itself. It is not a true right; it is a privilege." Basically then, Condercot was arguing that ideas were never the creation of one single mind nor were they a gift from God.

To him, ideas come from nature and are (or should be) accessible to all. Or to put it differently, to Condorcet, ideas are necessarily social: they are not produced by individuals but through sharing a collective process of experiencee. And perhaps even more importantly, Condorcet saw no social value in granting individual claims to ideas. Fundamentally, Condorcet argued that if ideas, as social creations, were to be recognized as a form of property, it must not be on the basis of an individual natural right but instead on the basis of social utility.

So, the UT view saw the public interest as the highest aim of the law while the NR view saw the sanctity of the individual creator was the highest aim.

Now I've already got way too indepth and I doubt anybody has read this far, but I'm gonna go ahead and try to wrap this up by skipping ahead 100 years or so.

After several statutes and laws that attempted to find a compromise between the NR view and the UT view, we find that over the past two centuries or so, the UT view has gradually been displaced by the NR view. Where we stand now, holders of authorial rights and copyrights have been extended throughout time from the original 10-14 years after the author's death in the 17th and 18th century to today's 50-75 years after the author's death (with exceptions, of course).

What is most interesting to me is the economics behind all of this. It is fundamentally the economics that exposes IP to be the "crock of shit" that it is. By the 19th century, the countries that exported the most IP (France, England, Germany, etc) were routinely of the NR view while developing nations that were mostly importing the IP were of the UT view. And, the US is a perfect example of this.

In the early 1800s, the large American publishing houses made great sums of money on unauthorized publication of British writers. They were basically bootlegging that shit. These publishing companies justified their practices with their UT view, making the argument that it was in the country's best interest to have these great works available for the public at cheap prices. But, eventually, American writers wanted to start selling some books and making a living off of it so they based a lot of their arguments on the rhetoric of the NR view. They appealed on patriotic grounds to Congress encouraging them to prevent these publishing companies from selling the unauthorized British texts for so cheap so these American writers could sell their own books. Eventually in the 1880s, the older American publishing houses that had made their fortunes on bootleg books saw their fortunes shrinking with the rise of competition of penny-presses. Well, these old, big American publishers realized that they were in a much better position to sign exclusive publishing deals with authors in order to be the sole publishers of these works. So, Reverend Isaac Funk, who had built his company Funk and Wagnalls on bootleg books, eventually denounced the "national sin of literary piracy" as a violation of the 7th commandment (You shall not steal). How convenient, no? So, companies that built their fortunes on bootlegging suddenly decided that bootlegging was wack because it was hurting their own business.

Since then, the story of 20th century American copyright law has been one of strengthening individual property rights at the expense of public interest and access.

So, this is all a very long winded way of saying that IP is a construct that has forever been defined relative to economics. The emergence of IP was in response to the publishing company's monopolies and as we saw from the Reverend Isaac Funk and the rest of the great American publishing house, IP was at all times exploited to make profits. That's why I think it's a crock of shit.

Most certainly the notion of IP still exists today (perhaps more strongly than ever) so when I say it's a "crock of shit," I don't mean to imply that it doesn't exist in our society or that it doesn't have a social function or effects. I am simply stating that it is a social construct that is completely and at all times dependent on economics and hence, to me, a crock of shit.

I agree a lot with Condorcet's argument that everything is derivative and is dependent upon the free social interplay of ideas and knowledge. To me, to mark anything at any point as IP is to deny the inherently social nature of communication and art and knowledge... and I think that's some individualistic bullshit we're taught to help keep the current system of capitalism that simultaneously exploits and depends on the mythical construct of authentic individuality.

Man, if anybody has read up to this point, y’all are fucking warriors. But, anyway, lemme make my point now.

Last week on Steven Shaviro’s blog, I caught dude sounding off on a very interesting book I have yet to read: Jacques Attali's Noise: The Political Economy of Music. Shaviro describes it as “an audacious, ambitious book, linking the production, performance, and consumption of music to fundamental questions of power and order in society.” The portion of Shaviro’s reading of the book that and I find to be most interesting is the following: “Attali's real interest…is what happens to music under capitalism.” In the last chapter of the book, Shaviro finds that interestingly, “Attali here reverses the gloomy vision of [a previous chapter that longs for some sort of uncommodifiable “authenticity” ], drawing on music from the 1960s (free jazz, as well as the usual rock icons), in order to envision a new historical stage, a liberated one entirely beyond the commodity, when music is no longer a product, but a process that is engaged in by everyone.” This to me is a brilliantly prophetic notion to be articulating in 1977. After all, if we consider what is happening to the commodification of music through the internet (mp3s, blogs, ipods, etc) we quickly realize that what music actually is is fundamentally changing because how we consume it has changed so drastically.

Now, more than ever, with virtually free-access to all music, the listener is potentially no longer simply a consumer because music is no longer simply a “a product.” With the advent of ipod DJing and mp3 blogging, everyone is potentially a DJ and everyone is potentially a music journalist. Now, whether or not the particular ipod DJ or mp3 blogger is particularly interesting or talented at what he or she does seems to me to be blatantly irrelevant when faced with the fact that our current historical moment is one in which we can’t help but notice the breakdown in the consumer-product logic. In our current moment, literally everyone is potentially more than just a consumer and is part of the process.

It’s not difficult to see how this notion would be a threatening one to record executives and groups like Metallic and DJs like Z-Trip. Z-Trip has recently been complaining about the overabundance of mash-up DJs and how, not only is the market saturated with these low-quality mash-ups (though one wonders what aesthetic standards make up a “good” mash-up for Z-Trip) but that most of them are done with technology (computers, timestretch devices, etc) that just aren’t turntables, and thus these mash-ups are “inauthentic” and “bad.” Z-Trip of course is just hating because “his” particular idea/gimmick is no longer as marketable as it once was because of this mash-up oversaturation (which admittedly, there is quite a bit of). So, in typical capitalist/individualist fashion, Z-Trip fails to see the political possibilities here and is more concerned with the fact that what he does is “authentic” and what these other folks do “isn’t.”

And, so finally, the longwinded Intellectual Property history above finds its overt relevancy here: with respect to music, the internet is greatly challenging our outdated understanding of IP. Of course, record companies rather like this understanding of IP (and a lot of artists do, too) because, quite frankly, it gets them paid and keeps the relationship between the consumer and the consumed static. But, it’s not hard to see how people’s relationship with consumption has changed precisely because of the hyper-availability of music online. Anyone who has EVER been to a club or a concert can attest to the necessarily social and communal nature of music. The consumer-consumed dialectic is a “false one” (i.e. an ideological one) that the culture industry emphasizes to make money and the internet is not only simply pointing out the “false”-ness of this relationship, but it is also actively redefining the relationship. That’s a beautiful thing.

Jesus. Too much.


Friday, April 15, 2005

I gargle gumbo and spit out jambalaya...

- The NBA Age Limit and Race: A really fucking great article about the Jermaine O’Neal situation regarding the age limit in the NBA. Great quote: “It is not race at the base of Stern's quest to install an age limitation for entrance into the game, but it is race at the base of who that rule will directly affect.” This shit is so on point it hurts. It HURTS, I tell you. But, the main thrust of the article is not so much whether or not the age limit is necessarily racist (it’s become clear to me that there are fairly convincing arguments to be made on both sides of the issue), but that it’s simply not ridiculous for O’Neal to bring up the issue of race. After all, that seems to be what all the hoopla is all about. Black folk can’t even say the word “racism” (especially rich Black folk) without a huge portion of White America (i.e. Red Staters) thinking “Oh, why’s he gotta go and play the race card again?”

- Can’t Argue With The Truth: Sometimes, all you can do is sigh. Insightful quote: “Johnson said the event is meant to be ‘peaceful and respectful,’ but made clear it is motivated by belief that homosexuality is wrong. ‘You can call it sinful or destructive -- ultimately it's both,’ he said.” Fucking hell. Berube satirizes it nicely.

- Never Mind The Pollack: The bol Neal Pollack is killing it over on his blog. He’s attempting read a book a week this year which is marginally funny in and of itself since he’s a professional writer, but dude is just flat out hilarious. An older nugget of hilarity: he called the NCAA Tournament a “quasi-professional biracial slave auction”!

- Steven Shaviro: I didn’t know this guy had a blog. He’s the man. He’s got a nice piece about pop music up right now. EDIT: Read that piece. It's fucking fantastic.

- DIY shit: I need to go to this. Somebody remind me to.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Call me when it's gangsta...

- Back in the building: My homebol Lowbudget from hollertronix is kind enough to let me play some records with him tonight at the 700 club. Come holler at us. It'll be fun.

- Ron Mexico: This Michael Vick shit is fucking hilarious. Dog… come on. “Ron Mexico”?

- Houston is really so real right now: That bol Pushermania has been holding down Houston radio with his weekly Damage Control show with ridiculous shit like this. Dizzee Rascal killing shit Southern style. Too much. Too real.

- Progress, Shmogress: There’s a great passage in DeLillo’s “White Noise” where Jack Gladney’s 14 year old son Heinrich explains how even though our society has advanced significantly technologically speaking, as individuals we have, if anything, regressed. The 14 year old, who is a rather strange encyclopedia of scientific facts, makes the fairly incontrovertible point that while we have all this crazy technology at our fingerprints that has benefited our lives in a lot of different ways, very few of us really know how the fuck any of the shit works, and even fewer of us are capable of making any of the shit from scratch. So, at some level, yes, we have certainly advanced as a whole because of the brilliance of several specialized individuals, but I suppose the point is, most of us would be doomed if some sort of major catastrophe killed off a huge percentage of the population and forced us to, say, grow our own food and build very basic contraptions. Hence, my sudden interest in reading this book.

- THANK GOD!: Vida Guerra’s sidekick got hacked. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this is one of the best things to ever happen to me…Yeah, I said it. TO ME!

- If you’re feeling down…: …read this. Berube tells an annoyingly touching story about the Beatles and his “disabled” son.

- I feel you, homie: Bloggers that rock Unite in annoyance!

- Weirdness: Three days ago I a bunch of files to my yahoo email address. They haven’t come yet. Hmmmmmmm. I’ll post some hot shit on the shrimp tonight. Promise. But go there now anyway. Serg and Dave always hold it down.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I'm hungry.

Took a day off from blogging yesterday, but I'm back like cooked crack... and I learned the "font size" code for this one! Woo! My HTML game is on the come up.

- Killing It: The boy Steve Gilliard is absolutely killing it inthis post. Video games aren’t the problem, “[our] flawed culture comes not from entertainment, but from economics. A culture where parents work 10 hour days, where children come home to empty houses as young as six years old. Where after school programs are rare and part time jobs so consuming that kids fall asleep in class.”

- Why is Manhattan Sucky? Rich folk!: Journalist and novelist (a) James Walcott and journalist (b) Tom Watson both respectively have some (a) interesting things (b) to say about rich folk in Manhattan in response to this New York Metro article about the super-rich.

- Pitchfork Gets it Right!: Finally, a good review of a good album. Good shit. Bravo. Two years ago, guaranteed, these motherfuckers would be hating on Beanie Sigel, though. In fact, this is the only album they've reviewed by him. Oh well. Things change, and that’s good. Nobody ever mentions the bols Oschino and Sparks, though. Well, Byron Crawford does, but only to hate on Beanie’s “weed carriers.”

- Carry my weed!: Speaking of weed carriers, this site has got some funny stories about those that carry weed for the big boys.

- The Weather Underground = Hitler Youth: Seen the documentary about the Weather Underground? It’s a pretty darn good documentary that shows these well-intentioned goofballs for what they were: proto-fascists that had more in common with the Fascism they claimed to despise than with groups like the Black Panthers that they repeatedly tried (and failed) to align themselves with. The movie is a great lesson in how NOT to start a revolution. Some thoughts I posted on a message board are below:

What I saw in that documentary showed me a group of kids (I don't particularly care about their up-bringing or skin color) who were just trying to stir some shit up under the guise of "revolution" until their beliefs ended up occupying a potentially dangerous space of moral superiority. As has been already said “when revolutionaries like the Weatherman envision a perfect society around the corner, they become convinced that in order to get there, the deaths of ‘ordinary people’ don’t count.” I mean, it's not really debatable that horrible shit like the Holocaust happened because of a very basic extension of the exact same logic….Hitler exterminated millions of people because he believed he was cleansing and benefiting society-- because his understanding of the world was based on a "Truth" he felt was morally superior to any other "truths." Which, if we extend the Weathermen logic, very rapidly starts to parallel this thinking. Again, I’m not saying that these dudes are even remotely as “bad” as Hitler or anything. I’m not even really suggesting that the Weathermen were “bad” at all. I’m just saying that they are “jackasses” because their project was doomed to failure from the beginning because of this “perfect society” ideology that would never do much more than ruffle a couple of feathers—that is, until the systematic killing began.

And, frankly, that's my main problem with a lot of these so-called "revolutionary" protests. They aren't really attempts to really revolutionize anything-- they're attempts to proselytize and force a version of "Truth" upon people who just might not agree with it. And, it’s a difficult question as to what is an effective way of communicating your views to these people who disagree with you in a convincing and still respectful manner. That’s the modern dilemma of postmodern political efficacy. I think it’s the most important question of our time: how exactly can we as activists be politically effective when it is clear that things like protests and protest songs and sit-ins have lost a great deal of their effectiveness? (And, I still stand by the fact that I find most of the tools of the sixties to be, if anything, counter-productive in the postmodern world.)

In sum, I don’t know much about the Weathermen beyond what I saw in the documentary (which I, admittedly, haven’t seen for several months). But, I do know that they embody everything I find dangerous about many of the current activist modes of thinking that focus on and operate on this morally superior sense of “Truth.” There are of course certain qualities I can respect about what the WU did, but for the most part, they read to me like “jackasses” who didn’t really think too hard about the shit they were doing—and, come on, when you’re blowing up shit, the least you can fucking do is think really long and hard about the realistic effects of your actions—and furthermore, I still contend that their logic (and, unfortunately, a great deal of the activist logic that is currently pervasive in this country) isn’t a far cry from fascism

More of that ready rock tomorrow.


Monday, April 11, 2005

I'm tired.

- Gas and shit: What’s gonna happen when we run out of gas? Hopefully not this.

- MVP and shit: Funny article about NBA MVP candidates… all 425 of ‘em. Dude is right. The Sixers do effin’ stink.

- Queer people and shit: Pretty weird shit on the train today, some dude might’ve been trying to touch my thing. Dude was sitting next to me on the train and as we were getting closer and closer to NYC (the last stop), his hand started creeping over until I finally just pushed it away and grilled him with a “What the fuck?” look on my face just as we were arriving in the station. He might’ve just been dozing off, or maybe he wanted to touch my peepee. Whatever the case, Ultimate Warrior probably wouldn’t have reacted as calmly as I did.

- Sappy post-rock and shit: Should I buy this? Sole recommended it to me at the anticon show I attended last week, but I dunno how reliable he is.

- Internet drama and shit: I dunno. This is mildly funny if you feel like wading through all the comments and shit.

- McSweeney’s and shit: The requisite McSweeney’s post on my stupid blog. This one is an oldie-but-goodie.


Friday, April 08, 2005

I'm a baller baller. You're not at all a baller.

- Motherfuckers keep dying: Another good one departs.

- Moot or not moot?: This following about the word "moot" is, quite frankly, cute: The adjective moot is originally a legal term going back to the mid-16th century. It derives from the noun moot, in its sense of a hypothetical case argued as an exercise by law students. Consequently, a moot question is one that is arguable or open to debate. But in the mid-19th century people also began to look at the hypothetical side of moot as its essential meaning, and they started to use the word to mean “of no significance or relevance.” Thus, a moot point, however debatable, is one that has no practical value. A number of critics have objected to this use, but 59 percent of the Usage Panel accepts it in the sentence The nominee himself chastised the White House for failing to do more to support him, but his concerns became moot when a number of Republicans announced that they, too, would oppose the nomination. When using moot one should be sure that the context makes clear which sense is meant.

- Bitches and Hoes and shit: I wonder if anything fruitful will come of the Feminism and Hip Hop Conference. I’m skeptical, though. I get the feeling that it’s gonna be a bunch of feminists sitting around talking about something they don’t really know too much about through a filter that won’t fit as neatly as they might think. This piece and bell hooks’ piece on gangsta rap are worth a read. I think the gist of the whole conversation boils down to the following: misogyny isn’t so much a “problem” in hip-hop in that it’s promoting misogyny in real life. To me, the “problem” with it is that it’s simply symptomatic of the much larger (and still strong) sociological patriarchal pathology. To take hip-hop alone to task for being misogynistic and materialistic is to scapegoat hip-hop and ignore the history of this country that built itself upon these values. Now, that don’t make it right when Snoop raps about beating a bitch, and the hip-hop-misogyny conversation is always one that is worth having, but the most important thing we have to acknowledge is that the issue is much more complicated than “right” and “wrong”; “good” and “bad”; “should” or “shouldn’t”; and other such over-simplifying polarities.

- And I thought inner-lip tattoos were gangsta: Tattooing something on someone else’s forhead without their consent is just plain ol’ MEAN. Kinda funny. Definitely mean, though.

- How many 12 year-olds could you beat up?: This guy thinks he could take approximately 7.

- Required reading: We should probably all pick this up and talk about it. Reviews look good, so far. However, I’m skeptical.

- ”We can change our context, but we can’t change ourselves”: Whit Stillman’s “Last Days of Disco” is by no means a great, great movie, but it’s got 4 or 5 good scenes that make it quite good and certainly worth a watch. The following deconstruction of “The Lady and the Tramp” is classic and is worth the price of admission alone:

JOSH: There is something depressing about [“The Lady and the Tramp”], and it’s not really about dogs. Except for some superficial bow-wow stuff at the start, the dogs all represent human types, which is where it gets into real trouble. Lady, the ostensible protagonist, is a fluffy blonde cocker spaniel with absolutely nothing on her mind. She’s great looking but, let’s be honest, incredibly insipid. Tramp, the love interest, is a smarmy braggart of the most obnoxious kind. An oily jailbird, out for a piece of tail, or whatever he can get…he’s a self-confessed chicken thief—an all around sleaze ball. What’s the function of a film of this kind? Essentially it’s a primer on love and marriage directed at very young people; imprinting on their little psyches the idea that smooth talking delinquents, recently escaped from the local pound, are a good match for nice girls from sheltered homes. When in ten years, the icky human version of Tramp shows up around the house, their hormones will be racing, and no one will understand why. Films like this program woman to adore jerks…. The only sympathetic character, the little Scotty who’s so loyal and concerned about Lady, is mocked as old-fashioned and irrelevant, and shunted off to the side.

DES: Isn’t the whole point that Tramp changes? OK, maybe in the past he stole chickens, ran around without a license, and wasn’t always sincere with members of the opposite sex. But through his love for Lady, and beneficent influences of Fatherhood and Matrimony, he changes and becomes a valued member of that rather idyllic household.

JOSH: I don’t think people really change that way. We can change our context, but we can’t change ourselves.

ALICE: I agree with Josh. Scotty is the only admirable character. It would have been a much better movie if Lady ended up with him.

DES: I’m really surprised. I think Tramp really changed.

JOSH: Maybe he wanted to change, or tried to change, but there is not a lot of integrity there. First he’d be hanging around the house, drinking, watching ball games, maybe knocking Lady around a little bit. But pretty soon, he’d be back at the town dump chasing tail.


Thursday, April 07, 2005

Mind on my money. Money, what's up, oh!

- Schiavo: Finally, something somewhat interesting about this Schiavo bullshit that isn’t just about politics. Apparently, the poor girl was bulimic and years of bulimia left her deficient in potassium, which lead to a heart attack, which lead to a coma. Very sad.

- Suuugar, gimme some: Why the fuck have I been FIENDING for sugar lately? Every morning when I walk by Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme on my way to work, I have an extremely hard time not stopping and copping some fucking delicious, scrumptious, succulent donuts. And, the abundance of Haribo in New York is mind boggling. I can’t go in any fucking corner stores without seeing these Haribo eyeing me the fuck up, just flat out BEGGING for me to buy them and eat them ‘til I’m all helpless and gummy-tummied up, feeling something like this. The fuck is wrong with the boy(me)?

- Tell this girl to get her weight up: Audrey is hands down one of the coolest, funniest, smartest human’s on earth. Unfortunately, she hasn’t updated this portion of her site in a long while (almost a year!) and she only just recently updated this portion of her site. So, your task—if you should accept it— is to go to both and check out her Vinyl Obsession and her Celluloid Obsession respectively, and then, while you’re there, vociferously encourage her to update more (i.e. post a comment that says “Ayo, update more, ho!” because women respond to misogyny).

- Hieroglyphics: So, which came first, this or this. Only God truly knows. Or maybe noz does over at Cocaine Blunts. This week is Hiero week o’er thuurrr. Go for some good Hiero shit (i.e. shit that came out before ’96).

- Stupidest thing I’ve heard in weeks: This is blatantly the stupidest shit I’ve heard in a long ass time. Go to your local thrift store. I absolutely guarantee you will find every Herb Alpert record you’re interested in. Can’t believe they’re reissuing shit that is so fucking simple to find for $1. In their defense, they’re remastering the shit and putting out some unreleased sessions, but got damn—it’s fucking Herb Alpert. I did NOT however know that “He was the A in A&M records” nor did I know he was 0% latin. Dude is the Elvis of Mariachi/Mexican music but we can thank him for the horns that RZA sampled on “Release Yo’ Delf” and Black Sheep sampled for “Flavor of the Month.” And, of course, this splendid record cover. Why don’t mothereffers ever reissue shit that actually deserves a reissue (I’m being melodramatic)?

- Duh: I dunno why it took me so long to realize who the fuck Mitch Hedberg was when there was all the hoopla about him dying. I recognized the name but it never really clicked. Then, I suddenly realized it was the guy who said funny shit like all of this. Now I’m sad. Dude was hilarious in a smart, likable way. Weak.

- Hardly conscious: Three hours of sleep ain’t good. Today’s gonna be rough.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Shittin' on the ave...

- It's just two thangs that got me trippin': Posted some Amerie shit o'er on the shrimp. Cop that.

- The Nickel: Tied for 5th place in my March Madness office pool. No dough for me. Weak.

- My hood: Aerial view of my hood. (Cue DJ Clue voiceover) New shit on google! Cool, but kinda scurry, no? Yes.

- Whatyerlifelike? Mine’s is real. E’rything’s signed and sealed…: My life has been feeling a bit like a bad B movie full of odd existential contradictions lately. I feel like every day is longer and longer, and yet there’s never enough time to do the things I want to do, and even though each day heavily trudges along so gotdamn slowly, my life is flying by and the heavy pages of the calendar are slowly/quickly drying up and falling off the calendar never to return. I feel like an old man and yet I feel gracefully immature and ridiculously juvenile. Everything that happens to me-- and everything that I make happen-- feels strangely familiar yet incomprehensibly unpredictable and random. My life is full of bad direction, bad acting, amateur editing, horrific lighting, and a series of mise-en-scene(s) that don’t reveal anything important about the narrative as a whole. Yesterday seems like a year ago. A year ago seems like yesterday. And, of course, vice versa. I’m trying to accept the dialectic nature of life and not get too caught up in expectations—trying to grasp and bask in the infinite potential of every moment, but it’s hard to grasp infinity when reality seems to take place in such a finite realm. I mostly just want to sleep a lot and be nice to people. People make the world go round.

- Remember dem days?: Web Archive. Self-explanatory really. Defunct website? Search for it.

- Support: One of my old Anticon buddies Dose has put up some exclusive collectible shit on ebay to raise money for Dax Pierson who was recently in a car accident and subsequently paralyzed from the neck down. Show some love with your money and bid if you’re into this shit, or just head over to Dax’s page and make a donation. Dude’s a good dude.

- Dairy Queen: I’m fiending for it, dog. Let’s make it happen.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Imagine what I spend gun shopping...

- Not A Low Calorie Food: Apparently, this lil’ 6 calorie slab of gum I’m chewing on is, as the package says, “not a low calorie food.” The fuck? Are you serious? I’m sure I burn about 3 or 4 calories with my chewing of this lil’ bitch for an hour or so. That means there’s a net gain of 2 calories (6 – 4 = 2). And, THIS, is somehow “not a low calorie food.” I find it hard to believe that the proclamation of non-low-caloricity-ness on this gum package is necessary.

- The Next Pope: Feeling lucky? Go bet on the next Pope. My money’s on Francis Arinze.

- Who still actually says “bling, bling”?: Little white girls.

- Diplo: Good interview.

- Heroes and Villians: This is a beautifully written and heartbreaking “family story.” It’s short and well worth your 7 minutes.

- Rappers are Still Stupid: Yesterday I mentioned that “rappers are idiots.” My (and everyone else’s) blogging idol Serg agrees here. Dude’s hilarious.

- March Gladness: God, I can’t believe I just titled this bullet “March Gladness.” How fucking cheesy. Anyway, I won the Hollertronix Board pool, I got second place in the Soulstrut Board pool, and 5th out of 44 or so in the Non-Prophets Board pool. I hope I won my office pool though. That’s the only one I had any money on. Update later. By the way, this dude had the highest score in all of Yahoo's online tournament. It's pretty remarkable that nobody gets all the games right.

- What a Pity: Someone else’s brilliant thoughts about the concept of pity that I plagiarized from a message-board: “pity is a fucked up emotion…growing up my friends would constantly tell me I was too sensitive to the plights of others. for awhile i considered my friends simply more callous than myself. they weren't as receptive to the loneliness and pain that's everywhere in this world…i would be at a fast food spot and see an old chubby person eating alone and proceed to form a miserable life story around this person who now in my imagination had no living family nor friends and drowned their sorrow in fatty foods. thoughts like these would depress me…now i try to avoid pity as much as possible. it insults the recipient of the pity by painting them as volitionless victims, casts the person feeling pity as somehow superior, and stems no tangible results….i try my hardest to replace my feelings of pity with sympathy founded in understanding. sympathy diverges from pity in that it refuses to strip the dignity from the individual who is being sympathized with. when someone is pitied they're regarded as pure victims without agency. in other words, the person pitying them has negated their dignity. when I pity someone, what i'm implicitly doing is thinking, ‘Only I can help this person, this person needs me, this person's unhappiness is my burden.’ Entertaining these thoughts pushes out the existing person from consideration, the person becomes secondary to their circumstances. once the person has become secondary what is really being considered is not the person but his circumstances. once the person is made the result of their circumstances they've been shamed. they've been made shameful”. I like the part about pity denying/negating the other’s agency the most. It’s on point.


Monday, April 04, 2005

Once again it's on...

- Maybe I’m just a wuss, but…: …this shit had me bugging. It’s pretty funny, and definitely effective and hence, not the type of shit I wanna read at 9 AM on a Monday morning. Oh well. Reminds me of a story my homegirl told me recently. Her mom was in surgery for something-or-other and prior to the surgery she was administered an anesthetic that thoroughly numbed any pain or discomfort she might experience and she was also administered some type of medication that somehow disabled her motor functions (so she wouldn’t jolt or have any type of sudden reaction to any of the shit they were doing to her mid-surgery). Well, turns out the anesthesia wore off during the surgery and she woke up, but the other medication was still in effect so she FELT everything that was going on but couldn’t move or speak to notify the doctors that she was awake feeling everything. Luckily, she passed out from the unbearable amount of pain she was in. Ugh.

- No Longer a Bottom Feeder: Well, I’m no longer skimming around the bottom of each of my NCAA pools. In fact, I’m winning the Hollertronix Board pool which is, after all, the only one that matters (but, frankly, it’s the only one that matters precisely because it’s the only one I’m winning). I might win this $150 in my work pool, but I sincerely doubt that I’m the only dude that’s got Illinois and UNC in the ‘ship with UNC winning. If so, then I’ve got a chance if the ‘Heels win this shit. I could use $150.

- The Morning After Pill Over The Counter: It’s hardly worth linking the onion because everybody checks it on a pretty regular basis anyway, but the "what do you think" section is always so on-point and this week is no exception. That dude Nathan Rabin in their A/V section likes some wack rap music though.

- Acronym-Named Artists.: I bought the M.I.A. album. I’m under-whelmed. Interesting article about it in slate. Speaking of acronym-named artists, I also bought that old N.O.R.E. and Peedi 12” produced by Just Blaze “Niggarican.” If I was half-black half-rican, I’d be loving this shit even more, but right now, it’s just my jam on some “I totally can’t relate to this shit but wish I could” shit. Just Blaze is God, anyway. I’ma post this song on the shrimp tonight. It’s pretty hysterical. But, yo, before we finish with the theme of acronym-named artists, can I just say that this whole acronym bullshit is retarded. Every rapper I know who uses an acronym has some stupid explanation of it. Case and point: KRS-ONE = “Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everybody.” I mean, have we ever sat down and thought about this? (sidenote: first I typed “thought down and sat about this”) “Over Nearly Everybody”? Fucking STUPID. Clearly, this is some the after-the-fact acronym extrapolation. I can’t imagine gool ol’ insane Kris was sitting around thinking to himself “I need to come up with a name for myself that embodies the notion that almost everybody is reigned over by knowledge, but not urrybody.” And then there’s shit like GURU (Gifted, Unlimited, Rhymes, Universal) which is equally as stupid and also just as clearly after-the-fact. I know there’s some other dumb shit, too. Sometimes I can’t be too mad at the general public for thinking that most rappers are idiots because, quite frankly, they are (but so is most of the general public).

- R.I.P. John Paul II: Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Pope died but, like Cam’ron said in the undeniable classic (no irony) Paid in Full: “Niggas get shot everyday in the ‘hood.” So, like, yeah it sucks that the Pope died, but dude was 84 and has been CHILLING for the past twenty years just being the head of the Catholic Church (What exactly does that entail? Does he have to pray more often or something?) so I’m really not bothered by the fact that he died. Anyway, the only reason dude’s death is worth mentioning on my blog (yes, I just called the Pope “dude”) is because a friend of mine who teaches at Catholic school was telling me that her school might get a day off because the Pope died. The fuck is that about? I’m all for days off and I hope she and her kids get that shit, but what exactly is the logic there? How is a day off school going to help in anyway? Presumably, the day off would be for “teachers and students to reflect about the Pope and their faith” or some such bullshit, but what the fuck? Like any kid’s gonna stay home from school and think about the dead Pope on his day off. Yeah right. That kid’s gonna wil’ out and hope more Popes die. If anything, they should have to go to school an extra day. Make ‘em go to school on Saturday. I bet that’ll make them appreciate the Pope’s life more than a day off.


Friday, April 01, 2005


- Billboards Don’t Lie: Engineers don’t have sex before marriage… or probably afterwards, either.

- Who made this beat?: If you want to know the answer to that question, go here. Quite a dope web site that O-dub’s site put me up on. They’re hating on your boy, though (me).

- Unserious Record Business: Man, oh, man. There’s some hysterical Ebay drama posted on soulstrut. Some German dude bought some record from some American dude and German dude is pissed at the quality of the record and wants to send it back but American dude isn’t having it, so German dude starts sending him these fake emails from this fake Record Association in fucked up English. Peep:

I am the President of the Vinyl-Record Association Germany and one of our Business Partners just informed us about a uncorrect Deal you made through Ebay.We hope that you clear the situation with our Member XXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX, otherwise we will put you on our black List of unserious Recorddealer.We will send out your Ebay Seller Name and your Private Adress (we got from XXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX)to 50000 Members and Recordcollectors Worldwide.Also, we will give 20000 Flyer with your Bad Profil to all RecordFreaks on the worlds biggest RecordFair in Utrecht(netherlands) on the 14-16 April 05.Believe Me we will do that communication!We will protect our Members.Hope you will find the right solution mr. XXXXXXXXXX otherwise you will have big problems .We will disturb your unserious Record Business very much and in every way! You better cooperate.

After being compared to the Nihilists in the “Big Lebowski,” one poster (who speaks English fluently) proposed the following hilarious response to the German email:

Dear Sir, You have commit very serious error. I am president and CEO of Fine Record Enthusiasts And Kollectors (FREAK) of North America. I think you know it is not wise to threaten a person as important as myself. I TOO WILL DO COMMUNICATIONS! I will contact my contacts consisting of 50,001 serious collector also armed foot soldiers. Do you understand what I am saying? Soon you are to be banned from purchasing all GENIUS BLACK MUSIC gems of America. I can do this. No more purchase for you. Also I have alerted the Bush Administration of your plans to llegally reissue Marlena Shaw "Woman of the Ghetto" GENIUS BLACK MUSIC gem. Please assure they take this issue very seriously. Illegal reissue of GENIUS BLACK MUSIC gem funds terrorism. You are clear and understanding yes? Not only is your collection soon to be atomized and the dust to be scattered to the winds but you too to be reduced to subatomic particles after months in secret prison. Plaese to not contact me again. Hahaha! God, I’m dying here… holy shit, that’s funny.

- Professor Slaps Students, Proclaims to be God: Oh word?

- Get off the didick: I link Berube at least every other day. It’s annoying, I suppose, but he’s funny. Anyway, he’s got a new book out that he edited and he wrote a somewhat obvious piece about the Illini’s stupid, ignorant, racist Chief mascot. Even though it’s a pretty obvious criticism, it’s on-point and filled with funniness, which I can’t hate on… and therefore won’t hate on. I really can’t believe institutions of higher education think that this kind of shit is OK. Sheesh.

- Soft hands: I might be the only dude in the world softer than Chris Weber. E’rybody knows this dude is soft, but jesus, man the fuck up, you pussy. You ain’t in progressive-ass Northern Cali no’ mo’! Fucking shoulder sprain. Who the fuck sprains their shoulder? And he’s got a “compressed nerve in his left leg”? Dude, get some real fucking injuries. Break an arm or something. Fucking pussy. Die.