Categories: The News Posted on January 10, 2011 By: Roy
Earlier in the week DJ brought to my attention a startling fact: apparently you people are not very literate. Well either that or the content on this site is just too stupid- though no particular post comes to mind. Here’s the evidence:
88% Basic 11% Intermediate 1% Posts by Patty O’Leary
Not looking good. Well, luckily I work in a library and I happened to have some archive access. That’s right! I have access to archived books- really famous manuscripts that have never been released! So, in an effort to boost our reading level, I stole this exclusive chapter excerpt from Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick. These particular chapters were censored from the original publication because they describe the whale’s penis and Ishmael’s diatribe on whale semen. It’s pretty boring stuff, but I can guarantee you that this is 100% real. I stole these documents from the library I work at and copied them here, word for word, verbatim. Enjoy:
Frequently, I find myself envying the relatively talentless people talking to me on TV. Instead of coming to grips with the fact that the bullshit I mindlessly peruse during timeouts passes as legitimate entertainment, I usually just assume the clown spewing pure garbage and nonentertainment into my brain lucked into the gig, held the producer’s family hostage in exchange for the gig, or must have been a bona fide celebrity in a no longer relevant distant past. One person who actually doesn’t bother me so much is Guy Fieri. His show is pretty decent and he seems like a good enough dude. All in all, Guy Fieri probably doesn’t deserve the mockery I’m about to make of his appearance and personality.
Categories: How-To Posted on December 10, 2010 By: Roy
You know what?
If I said that really condescendingly it would be a good insult, but if I say it with a smile it sounds like I am about to tell you something, and I am! There is one thing I like to do before I sit down to write blogs. Nope, guess again, I like to put on some groovy tunes! Well, hey, let’s get real: it’s about a week into December and from what I can remember I am getting weak in the knees with anticipation. Am I anticipating the antifreeze? No! I’m anticipating the poinsettias, mistletoe, wreaths, ivy, holly and evergreens! As I began this blog I put on one of my all time favorite Christmas songs: “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”
Go ahead and press play there, it makes a good background track.
Hello again, Smartass radio’s Michael Jackson correspondent Megan Riebesell here, just checking in to follow up on the status of our dearly beloved. As we all could have predicted, not even MJ’s passage into eternity could ease the controversy that besieged him all his life. Back here on earth, we are still picking away at every morsel of flesh that our ugly beaks can scrape off his bones. People are still making careers out of revealing any kind of sensitive information they can dig up in his wake, so-called “artists” are still depending on his legacy for their own shot at celebrity or capital, and the fat, greedy vultures of the world are still milking his hard-earned masterpieces for every pathetic cent they can steal. However, do not fret, I am here to remind everyone that Michael’s pure soul, which was always too powerful to be contained by a simple human body, has finally reached its proper ranking among the gods, as an immortal presence. Of course, Michael’s kingdom in the great beyond is immune to the commotion of silly, frantic scavengers still chirping his name down here. Rest in assurance, MJ smiles down on all of his children still, giggling at our antics.
That being said, skimming through Jacko’s most recent controversy was actually a pretty hilarious and of course bizarre venture. Where do I even begin?
It’s no wonder that everyone is developing more and more negative biases towards twenty-something hipsters. First there is all the exhibit-A photo evidence at “Look At This Fucking Hipster”. Second, we’ve got all these so called “indie” bands that keep popping up on Jimmy Fallon. Today I watched some band I’ve never heard of called “Bats for Lashes” and they were really sour. Triple H was the other guest on the show and I’m sure as he was watching from the sidelines he was thinking, “So this is what those hipster fags are listening too. Beating them up is now justified.” And as if that wasn’t enough, now hipsters are punching defenseless shit.
The Chicago Tribune reports that a 21 year old snob named Pablo Fernandez left the Lollapalooza music festival and proceeded to begin petting a horse. Seems innocent enough, but then the officer that was sitting on top of the horse told him to knock it off. The kid refused and, instead of just walking away, punched the horse!!! The horsed reared onto its back legs in the middle of a huge crowd and the 21 year old equestrian terrorist was sent to jail for the night.
I have tons of problems with this shit. Has this kid never read “Black Beauty”? Of all the animals to punch, why pick a horse? Why not a cat? I’d punch a cat for sure. Actually, I take that back. The cat would likely be on the ground, so I would probably just kick it. I’d kick a cat no problem. You’ve got a cat? No questions asked, I will kick that thing. Same goes for cocky pigeons. But I would never kick a horse. I’m sure Pablo Fernandez wouldn’t kicked a horse either. That’s just asking for trouble. Trouble in the form of a hoove to the throat, if you know what I’m saying. The horse is just too big to get a good kick in. Really if you are going to attack a horse, punching is the way to go. Let’s see are there any animals out there that I would punch, rather than kick… well first, they would have to be out of my leg reach. You can kind of just slip in a quick squirrel kick without breaking stride, but any animal above the waistline is going to need some fist-attention. I mean obviously a human face would be a perfect target for my fist, ifitwereontherightperson. But this contest is strictly limited to the lesser animals. Maybe an ugly whale. I don’t think my fists have the force to penetrate the blubber, so I’d be safe from getting stuck in its intestinal goo. Though a whale punch seem somewhat anti-climatic. It’s like punching a big couch or a snowdrift. Maybe a walrus. Just POW! Punch a walrus right in the side of the head and walk away. I’ve always had something against walruses. Don’t they seem a little bit high and mighty? I think walruses kind of just lounge around thinking that they’re the “kings of the sea.” Fuck that. Emperor penguins are the kings of the sea and I would never punch an emperor penguin (because they’re back in the kicking category). I’d like to punch a walrus right off its high horse.
Still, there must be a better option…even though the more I think about it the more tantalizing punching a walrus becomes. How about this: I punch a cheetah while it’s on the move. Like that stipulation? A cheetah is running by at 65mph and KA-POW! a punch right in the side. Even the most lackluster punch would knock it off its feet at those speeds. Again, I would just walk away after impact. I guarantee that video would go viral.
But, nah, I like cheetahs enough. Not worth it. Plus, when am I going to find the time to do that. Come on Roy, think! There must be some punchable animal out there. Mhmm. You know what would really set people off? If I punched one of those guys from the new “Were The Wild Things Are” adaptation. People are already going nuts for this movie. I’m sure if I were to punch one of those totoro knock-offs people would be up in arms. Perhaps even more so if I punched the child star. But I don’t want to do any of that, I’m just saying I’m sure it would get quite a reaction. I need an animal that I could punch and people would be like, “Oh, OK, he punched a _____. I’m fine with that.” I’ve got it! A yellowjacket. I know it’s thinking outside the box, but stay with me here. Yesterday my brother and sister came running to me saying that there was a HUGE yellowjacket in the basement and I needed to kill it. Their definition of huge was 1-inch, which for a yellowjacket is pretty huge. So I went into the basement and killed the thing with a newspaper. But wouldn’t it have been cooler to just punched it dead? Nobody would ever bat an eyelash if I went around punching bugs into submission. Hiking through the woods I’d look like a paranoid schizophrenic, but really I’d just be getting rid of all the pesky mosquitoes.
What was I talking about? Oh right, the kid (re: person my age) who punched a horse:
No doubt he was running up to the beast to drunkenly get an I-Phone picture of himself petting it. It would prove to his Twitter following that he liked animals and justify his PETA t-shirt. If you are wasted enough to punch something, don’t punch the giant mammal punch the pig riding it. What made this guy make the jump from massage to brute force? Let’s be honest, do cops need anymore reason to distrust youngsters? If the cops up in my college town of New Paltz got word of this I’m sure they would invest in a whole fleet of ponies, with the hope that some idiot would punch one and they would get a chance to pelt a crowd of students with rubber bullets and electrified nets.
I should also point out that I have no reason to identify this kid as an authentic hipster. I just figured that since he was at Lollapalooza he must have been. I’ll also assume the name “Pablo Fernandez” was meant to be ironic and his actual name is Conrad Pinskey and he looks like this:
That snapshot isn’t even from “Look at this Fucking Hipster,” but when I came upon it a couple days ago I knew that I’d be able to use it for something before the week was done (and before anyone says, “Hey, that picture could just as easily be you”, let me rebut: 1) I don’t go to Music Festivals; 2) I would never wear that dumb outfit because it would draw too much attention to my failing biceps and irregularly tanned thighs; 3) I don’t dance with my eyes closed because I like to observe all the looks of astonishment and glee that my gyrations conjure.)
(One more point about that picture: What is the girl scoffing at? Yes she’s attractive enough, but she’s still got white nail polish, a little mermaid boob-mask and ruffled granny-panties….so I mean come on. At least the retard behind her is having a good time. Maybe she’s coming to the realization that she has chosen the wrong social-stereotype to adopt.)
OK. I don’t know how much more time I can devote to these morons.
The moral of the story: -Don’t try to punch something you’re not.
This week we interviewed Vetiver an American folk band led by singer-songwriter Andy Cabic. Vetiver is a great band for the outdoors and I’ve been listening to their latest release “Tight Knit” over and over this summer. For more information on the band (tour dates and all that) check out here and here.
Also, here’s a couple free downloads, courtesy of Sub Pop Records:
Who are your favorite musicians? Is the music you listen to similar to the music you write?
It’s hard to pick favorites, and I listen to a lot of different artists, all the time. Skeeter Davis, Slapp Happy, Michael Hurley, Fleetwood Mac, Erasmo Carlos…it’s an endless litany, my favorite music.
I’m not sure I hear obvious similarities, but perhaps there are allusions in the details, in the feeling, between the music I write and artists I admire.
Last year you recorded some covers of older folks artists (Townes Van Zandt, Michael Hurley…etc) How did you begin to admire these artists? What sort of influence have they had on you?
The way I came to know each songs we recorded on “thing of the past” is different. Some I stumbled across myself in record stores, others were passed onto me through friends. Each has made it’s own unique impact on me lyrically, melodically, in sound and feeling, both just listening to them a lot, and by learning them and recording them with my friends.
How is it different playing and composing a song on your own and playing with a full band?
Writing on my own feels private and obscure. Sharing and reworking the songs with others often lends clarity and insight, providing an opportunity for new perspectives, and adding greater emotional resonance to the songs.
What made you choose the title “Tight Knit” for your latest album?
I chose the title because I thought it fit the album and the artwork, and the pocket my band had been playing in up to and during the recording of the album.
There are lots of names that people have used to describe your music and the music of other artists you’ve work with (Psych Folk, Freak Folk, Naturalismo just to name a few). Do you like the idea that you are part of a certain movement of music or do feel limited by the categorizing?
I don’t care one way or the other. I like that people listen to my music. Categorizing things by nature limits them, tries to define perception, and I don’t find that necessarily useful, though others might.
How did your music relationship with Devendra Banhart begin?
In San Francisco years ago, on a foggy night, at his apartment, sharing songs and wine.
Where do you write your songs? Do you purposely sit down to write or do the ideas build up in your head?
Yes, all of the above. There’s no one way to go about these things. at some point sitting down to write is required and I find being in comfortable, familiar surroundings helps.
Do you have any reoccurring dreams or a particularly interesting dream to share?
I don’t often remember my dreams, so no.
What should a great song do?
It should make you want to listen to it again.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
I’m not sure. I’d have to think about that. Maybe Thailand. Or Patagonia. Some place with a combination of natural beauty and remoteness.
What was the last delicious thing you ate?
Collard greens from Sandra Dee’s in Sacramento.
I love the last song (“At Forest Edge”) on your latest album; what was the inspiration behind those lyrics?
The lyrics are inspired by the melody. I expanded from one line or image to peek inside a mythic vignette about disorientation and desire.
Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever seen one?
I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts or not, probably because I haven’t ever seen one.
Everyone has heard the sad news about Michael Jackson and I like to think that everyone was at least somewhat saddened. I mean if you don’t like Michael Jackson songs, then what’s the point? While everyone was upset, some people, some very deeply devoted fans, were nothing short of devastated…physically , emotionally, spiritually. One of these people was our good friend Megan Riebesell. She won’t be able to see Michael in London this summer, but the least we could do was let her share some words with you. – Roy
Hello. My name is Megan Riebesell and I am here to talk to you about the biggest tragedy this planet has ever seen. As you must have figured out by now, I’m referring to the death of Michael Joseph Jackson. During this period of confusion, referred to by psychologists as “Stage 1: Denial” in the model for the five stages of grief, it is hard for people to see clearly to the issue at hand. In hopes that this article will make it easier to cope, at least for the mere few it may reach, I am going to use this forum to share some of my experiences with Michael, and discuss how his passing has affected me, Megan Riebesell.
It was obvious from a young age that Michael was probably not supposed to have ended up on earth. Something went wrong, somebody messed something up. Whoopsies! Typo, wrong planet, something like that. People kind of started to realize this when the J5 made their first appearance on Ed Sullivan in 69. If you saw this you’d probably notice what could develop into a debilitating overload of soul and groove. Certainly too much to be contained by the small, frail body of an11 year old. If you went even further and watched this one you’d additionally notice that he’s not moving the way that a child who probably just advanced to having legible handwriting should move.
So lots of people were sort of catching on, J5 ruled with 4 consecutive number one hits on the billboard chart, which was the first time this had ever happened. I have to assume that people who actually lived through his emergence were desperately rationalizing: “Okay this kid will probably grow out of it in like 4 years when he’s a fucked up teenage mess.” I think a lot of people would have been more comfortable with that scenario.
Instead, Michael decided to fucking unleash his maniac talent on everyone full throttle. By the time when most kid stars would start to totally burn themselves out, realizing they completely missed out on childhood and collapsing beneath the pressure of the limelight and everything, Michael invented a new way of dealing with all of it. He figured since he was irreversibly damaged and would probably never fully work through it, he might as well use the one thing he did get out of it, which was being raised as a fucking psychotic perfectionist. So he decided to just like create everything. He focused all of his dysfunctional shit as well as his superhuman talent-energy, and took music and entertainment to a level that didn’t even exist yet. Flawlessly. Pretty much: wake up, think of the bass line to Billie Jean, brush your teeth, oh start doing THE MOONWALK, um go downstairs, grab a banana, redefine music videos , and then finally head off to work at the studio inventing pop music, etc. Day in the life of MJ. No biggy.
By 1994, Michael has already released Thriller, which is still the top selling record of all time, and is onto his 4th best selling album already (and has done all that other shit that you’ll wikipedia later.) People as a whole are immersed in the new world of entertainment he has created. I’m starting to feel a little weird about how many consecutive times I can jump all over my couches screaming to the Free Willy theme and still get emotional at the end. Ironically enough, this is around the point when everyone starts to turn on him. He’s just doing his thing, inventing everything that people ever like ever so that everyone can copy him forever. Yea, he’s fucking crazy as fuck considering everything, but he’s still just pumping all of that into amazing visual and auditory masterpieces for the whole world to enjoy. He’s touring selling out shows on every continent by now and it’s a little bit daunting for humans to discover that one being can pretty much hypnotize a good amount of their entire species at one time. It’s to the extent where an alarming amount of people literally become incapacitated or unconscious, sometimes needing medical attention, when in his presence. I mean yea, I know, Beatlemania and everything, but seriously this is different. Full grown men had to be lifted out of the crowd, sobbing and hysterical. The physical reactions people had just to seeing him on stage was unsettling. Humans detected an unmistakable cause for concern.
If you’re going to watch one video in this post, watch this one. With the lights off.
Everyone flipped out when they realized Michael Jackson had too much power over the human race. So we just did the thing where we criticize someone until we bring them down to our level. We thought it was weird that he was had a chimp named Bubbles, wanted to buy the elephant man bones, made his house into a peter pan amusement park, cried at the end of Men in Black, etc. Personally, I don’t see what’s so weird about being a fucking CRAZY person after having a dramatically shitty life, and having to be a vessel for all of those insane songs and dance moves that needed to reach earth somehow. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty confident that a normal, psychologically sound person would not be capable of even one of his countless feats. Still, most people were feeling uneasy about the whole situation. We felt compelled to exploit all of his quirks until we had completely forgotten about all of his contributions. On top of being the victim of a really unfortunate skin disease analysts agreed that MJ suffered from another shitty condition, body dimorphic disorder. Jeez, what a weirdo, feeling like he needs to change his physical appearance. Anyway, as it turned out, no one could see past his physical appearance, so his music became secondary to gossip about his strange lifestyle, and he was slandered for the rest of his life. After this, Michael decided that he would rather hang around chimps and little kids only. Again, to me this seems like a pretty basic cause-and-effect type situation we have here. However, the masterminds of mankind determined that he must have been molesting kids. Not the monkey though, oddly enough.
So somehow by the time his last album hit, which was of course no Thriller, but still better than most things, lots of people were too embarrassed to go into a record store (remember those?) and ring up the latest from the world’s most renowned child-molester at the time. And who could blame us? The trials got way more publicity than, lets say, when he founded the Heal the World foundation, whose mission was to provide medicine to children and fight world hunger, homelessness, child exploitation and abuse. Or his being a major contributor to 39 additional charities in his career. They got even more coverage than when all of the profits from smash hits “Man in the Mirror” and “Heal the World” went to charity. Probably even more well known than the “We are the World” video, which he coordinated, gathering the biggest musicians at the time to record a song that raised millions of dollars for famine relief. Or how on the 123-show world tour for “Bad” he invited underprivileged children to watch for free and sing with him on stage, and then gave donations to local hospitals, orphanages and other charities in every place he visited. The trials, which were unsuccessful in providing any actual evidence of molestation, are still more widely acknowledged than how the “Dangerous” world tour, where he danced like a fucking maniac for 65 shows and then gave all of the proceeds, I repeat, all, ALL of them to Heal the World. After that he sold the broadcast rights for the show to HBO, took that money and put it towards HIV/AIDS research. And remember when his afro caught on fire during the filming for that Pepsi commercial? Haha ha ha!! Guess what? He took the money from that lawsuit and gave it to the hospital where he was treated and started a burn ward for research and technology in severe burn treatment. Then he got plastic surgery because he was self-conscious about his scalp and we made fun of him for the rest of his life. And said that he touches babies.
So after trying to withdraw from the public eye, (unsuccessfully, as tons of brilliant journalists and psychoanalysts made whole careers out of obsessing over his weirdness) Michael comes back at the world and announces “THIS IS IT.” A 50- show tour taking place at the 02 stadium in London, possibly his last performance ever. In tradition of MJ, he had invented some kind of crazy 3-D background scheme that would transform the experience of seeing a live concert. He committed to giving the world one last show, granting everyone the chance to forget all about the baby-dangling and plastic surgeries and just enjoy the fucking immaculate presentation of all of the songs that make everyone dance no matter where they are. He agreed to subject his 50 year old body to putting on 50 more seizure-inducing performances which would have allowed millions of people to enjoy the same magic that had possessed them for decades. It would have given millions the opportunity to experience the intense, uplifting energy that looks more powerful and mind-altering than any drug trip. An experience that is unexplainable, but proven by concert footage of full grown adults losing the ability to hold themselves up. I was going to be one of these people.
Michael Jackson has left behind a whole world of humans who were touched by his timeless legacy. I’m sure that even those of you who didn’t spend $750 on airfare to London have the same feeling of emptiness in your lives as I do right now. But remember, we are all in this together. Take advantage of your neighbors and comrades who have probably all have attempted the moonwalk at one time or another, and might need someone to commiserate. Talking it out feels good. Even if it leads to both parties drunkenly agreeing that Michael Jackson was more important than Jesus, or the holocaust, and then the conversation becomes a little uncomfortable. Just get it all out. Letting yourself come to terms with how you feel will help you to reach the final step in the grieving process: Acceptance. Make this tragedy easier for yourself and those around you. Heal the world. It’s what Michael would have wanted us to do. We’re all going to get through this.