Archive for January, 2007

23
Jan
07

Public Enemy #1!

I remember when I was in middle school and I met this dude named Jason. He was into a lot of the same music that I was, so our friendship was based a lot on music. We were both aspiring to play guitar (he excelled at it, but I had a dream that not practicing would make me awesome at it. Didn’t work one bit, now I don’t even play.)

He, along with another dude named Andre started listening to rap around me. I had heard some of the shit that was being played on MTV and all that, but I hadn’t heard past the “glam rap” shit like Vanilla Ice or MC Hammer.

Somewhere along the way, I was introduced to Public Enemy.

I had never heard anything like it before. It was scary, almost apocalyptic sound rap with a flow that was undeniable. It wasn’t all about money or bitches, it was about struggle. Chuck D presented some of the most intelligent lyrics I had ever heard. To this day, he still ranks among my favorite MCs of all time. Along with KRS-One, they definitely made me more interested in hip hop and it’s culture (yes, back then a lot of hip hop was about a culture and identity, not the shit that it has been reduced to.) Then there was Flava Flav (pre-VH1 hysteria. I wonder what Chuck thinks about all this?) quite possibly the best hype man the world has ever seen. Terminator X and Professor Griff? Oh, hell yea. Public Enemy had it all.

I was hooked to say the least.

When I was in high school, a dude named Rob made me a mixtape with a bunch of great rap songs (which I wish I still had, shit was so good.) and it had a super rare Public Enemy mix on it that I completely went nuts for. Time goes on, I lose the tape somewhere along the line and I thought that I lost the song for good. Oh well, it’s only a mix.

Well, today I found it online.

This has some of the PE’s greatest hits on it in one track. I implore you to download it and listen to it and revel in how good and crucial this style of music once was.

Public Enemy – The Enemy Assault Vehicle Mixx – [Download MP3]

12
Jan
07

Everything is for sale…

Advertising space is everywhere, you just need to look for any little place to put it.

I really don’t have a lot of commentary for this because its audacity speaks for itself.

Advertising space in bathrooms in your local elementary school and now this, where does it end?

In other news, I have become addicted to the show It Takes A Thief on the always awesome Discovery Channel.

Next update coming, I’m doing hell weekend at work. 50 hours in 4 days. Definitely not going to rule come Sunday when I’m going to want to do nothing but sleep in.

Oh yea, Rest In Peace, Robert Anton Wilson.

06
Jan
07

The best movie you’ll never see…

Mike Judge has always been a great satirist.

From Beavis & Butthead and Office Space, he’s left a mark on American culture that few people have been able to duplicate. He’s able to stereotype the most absurd characters and do it with a delicate attention to detail that most people could only hope to do.

His latest film, Idiocracy follows in the same path but is much different than his previous works. He doesn’t go after a specific demographic of people, he goes after all of America.

The premise of the film is this…

Your everyday average Army desk jockey gets signed up for an experiment that no one will miss him if it goes awry. Joining him in this experiment is a prostitute. The scene where they discuss where they got the prostitute is absolutely HYSTERICAL. They are supposed to be frozen for a year and woken up to see if they can insert people in the future when they are most needed.

This goes all wrong, of course.

They awake to find themselves 500 years in the future.

And the world has gone to complete shit.

The lower class of the country have reproduced at such an alarming level that the population is downright stupid. Advertising has become so militant that it tells you that you’re worthless if you don’t use their products. The best one is “If you don’t smoke Tarrlyton Cigarettes, FUCK YOU.”

Sadly, it’s not too far off from what marketing has become these days. Working next to a mall, I see it all the time. I frequently walk through the mall to get my cup of coffee. Mind you, I snub Starbucks for a more quality coffee. Thank you, Bun Penny. You’re a lifesaver.

Lately I’ve noticed that the mall I work at has employed a new marketing strategy in the form of a two word catch phrase.

Defining you.

Yup, that’s it.

Think about that for a moment. Let it sink it.

Do these people actually think that a mall can define a human being? Who would be so bold as to put this all over their posters and the boarding that’s shielding a new store before it opens?

Of course it would be a mall.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like to shop when I actually have the money for it. These days, it’s not that much, but I do like buying new stuff.

But do I let that define who I am?

Not one bit.

Unfortunately, the denizens of Howard County don’t feel the same way. I’m constantly reminded by just being out in public that I live in poverty. Granted, I’m not that bad off. I can afford to eat and sometimes I go out, but not too much anymore.

I have never encountered a collection of people that are most self-absorbed and insipid as these people. I’m constantly surrounded by people who allow themselves to believe that they are the biggest fish in this septic tank. Guess what? You can be the biggest fish in the septic tank, but you’re still swimming in shit.

If that’s the life you want, then have it. That’s all you. I prefer to be humble and gravitate towards reality a little bit more. I have no delusions of grandeur. Well, except when I pretend that I’m doing vocals for a band in my room using a flashlight as a microphone, but I’ve been doing that since I was 8. I’m still awesome.

Back to how this relates to the movie, this area has become devoid of any sort of culture. Instead of doing something logical like opening a theater (no, not another fucking AMC or Loew’s, I’m talking about an actual place where people go to see productions) or a museum (that doesn’t center around the birthing of the ugly commercial giant Columbia is,) they decide to erect another monument to excess. Another strip mall where all the stores that are hip this year can roost and prosper in the sunny confines of this sprawling suburban metropolis.

Culture? The fuck do we need that for? There’s another Starbucks a mile away from the old one. Let’s go there!

It’s grown to alarming proportions and seriously needs to have balance restored. Of course, the developers and landlords aren’t going to see it that way. They’re just going to insure that they can retire to Florida to soak up rays, get Melanoma and die. Just as long as they can have a funeral that beats out the other guy, because that’s what matters, right?

In Idiocracy, the man character tries to help the poor people of the future to grow their own food and when it disrupts the “‘Conomy” as they call it and doesn’t work right away, they become angry and essentially want to see him murdered. Does that sound familiar? It does.

When someone has an opinion that differs from your own, what’s your first instinct?

That’s right, to attack them and assimilate them into thinking the same thing you do. Forbid the thought that what they say might be right, make sure you tell that motherfucker good.

But that wouldn’t be ‘Merican of you to actually listen.

Back to the film (once again, I’m going way off topic tonight. Too much coffee tonight, folks,) it essentially ends with the person with the unpopular opinion doing some good. Granted it was a little hokey, I’ll forgive it for the great lambasting that it gives our “culture.”

The sad part about Idiocracy is that the studio executives never wanted it released. I could see why. When you have a film that is so scathing with commentary about our ways, I’m sure there’s a little of pressure from the higher ups to really see where they stand with it.

There was a very, very, very limited release of the movie. I think it was shown in just under a hundred theaters for one night only. A pity, but I’m guessing there’s going to be a DVD release soon. The sooner, the better. It wouldn’t shock me to see it gain a cult following much like Office Space did.

I will say this though, I’d really have a hard time giving the studio money for this. It’s a great movie, but for them to sit on their hands when it comes to releasing it is as inexcusable as it is demeaning to the creator.

But then again, when has our country ever really been able to handle that we aren’t all we’re cracked up to be?