1. The days of thinking of time as a river—evenly flowing, always advancing—are over. Time perception, just like vision, is a construction of the brain and is shockingly easy to manipulate experimentally.

    — “Brain Time”, an essay on how easy it is to confuse and alter the passing seconds of our lives.

  2. Then, around one in the morning, something shifts. My brain gets funnier, in both senses, and much more associative, and about a hundred million light-years from sleepy. If the 10 p.m. shift is a trip to the wilderness—quiet, expansive, a solo hike with mountain views—the 1 a.m. shift is Six Flags. I get loopy and voluble, like a kid mid-birthday-party, hopped up on sugar and something like glee. It lasts about two hours, this new drug—crack to the quieter shift’s Ritalin—and then it dips, just slightly, sometime after 3 a.m., and that’s the Rubicon. If I put my work away and go to bed, I will fall asleep almost instantly, and can be up and functional again at nine. If, instead, I cross the 3:30 a.m. threshold, I will write all night. Eventually I will start to hear birds and the whistle of trains coming down from the north. The sun will fill my bedroom, and I will close my laptop and cover my eyes, and sleep maybe two hours, from six to eight or eight to ten—I have lost, alas, my childhood ability to sleep till noon—or sometimes not sleep at all. Either way, I will be awake the rest of the day, and utterly destroyed.

    — Writing in the Dark by Kathryn Schulz.

  3. When Bad is Good

    Bad taste often passes for avant-garde taste these days—so long as the artist signals “transgressive” intent. And whereas kitsch in art was once to be assiduously disdained, art that traffics in sentimentality and bathos behind a dancing veil of ironic laughter has become highly prized. Jeff Koons, John Currin, Lisa Yuskavage, Richard Prince, and Takashi Murakami are just a few of those who have learned that coy subversion can be popular and lucrative. As long as everyone is in on the joke that the art is satirizing its own historical codes of representation, there is nothing to be upset about.


    A divisive look at taste, culture and the sliding scale of being disruptively offensive.

  4. creativemornings:

Some inspiring notes from JD Hooge of weareinstrument.com speaking at the latest CreativeMornings/Portland.
Photo by Matty Jasperson

    creativemornings:

    Some inspiring notes from JD Hooge of weareinstrument.com speaking at the latest CreativeMornings/Portland.

    Photo by Matty Jasperson

  5. A Breakup Note for The Walking Dead

    Hey,

    I know. When we first met, we were two fireballs hurtling through the back streets of towns and metropolis, searching for survival. We met new people. We made friends through common needs. We perfected the art of zombie porn. It was magical.

    Now, we’ve gotten fat. The gang’s barely talking. The gang’s barely human. It’s tired. I’m tired. We sit on a farm all day pondering the ills of our ways while the world passes us by. A cloying, plodding inference is the norm: we’re trapped within ourselves.

    That’s why I have to leave. Your archetypes are stale. Remembering you before you devolve into Entourage poppycock is how I’d like to leave this. To be honest, I’ve been feeling this way for weeks. The 12 Angry Men mock trial with Dale was the last straw. Paranoia is torturing your beautiful tension.

    For the good of your future, please, go for a stroll off the farmland. Meet a new character. Find a solution to the problem. It’s the only way you’ll get better.

    Yours in bailing,

    Ryan

  6. Are Smartphones Changing What It Means to be Human?

    She pauses. “I get migraines,” she says — the close-the-drapes kind that keep her in bed for days. If a phone had the capacity to measure her temperature, pupil dilation, and galvanic skin response — three things that indicate the onset of a migraine — and then tell her to take a pill to fend off the massive headache, she would absolutely want it. It would be akin to having a hero rescue a damsel from the path of an oncoming train.

    When I ask Turkle how she’d feel about a device that could do all that for her, she lets out a laugh.“Could you imagine the feelings of intense connection and gratitude, bordering on profound love?” she says. “It would be almost impossible not to love them.”

    Right now, behavioral scientists are racing to develop a new generation of apps and programs that can mimic compassion, concern, and sympathy — technology they hope we will form relationships with.

  7. In 1810, a freed slave named Tom Molineaux fought in one of the most important fights in the history of boxing.

    The king of this mad world was Tom Cribb, the idol of the Fancy and by universal acclamation the champion of England. A former porter on the London wharves, Cribb had battled his way to supremacy with a combination of tactical savvy, punching power, and grim determination. On the wharf, Cribb had once been crushed beneath a 500-pound crate of oranges, coughed blood for days, and then made a full recovery. He was second to none in science, “gluttony” (the slang term for a fighter’s ability to absorb punishment), and “bottom” (a fighter’s stamina and resolve, as in the bottom of a ship). In 1807 he upset Jem Belcher in a brutal 41-round match, then leveled the giant Bob Gregson in a bloody fight in 1808. Since crushing Belcher in a rematch in early 1809, the 28-year-old Cribb had gone into semi-retirement — not because his skills had declined but because he was thought to be so invincible that no opponent was worthy to face him.

    Bouts were held outdoors, on bare ground, in rings marked off from fields. The fighters wore no gloves, which probably made them safer. (Gloves were introduced to protect the hands, not the head, and allowed fighters to punch harder.) But rounds didn’t end until one man or the other went down. And there was no limit to the number of rounds that could be fought. After a fall, fighters had 30 seconds to return to the scratch, a mark in the middle of the ring. The battle went on until one of them either surrendered or couldn’t make it. Boxers fought on through concussions and broken bones, sometimes suffering dozens of knockdowns severe enough to stop a fight today. Wrestling throws and holds above the waist were permitted, but it was illegal to strike while the foe was down. To add to the fun, constables occasionally descended in the middle of a match to arrest the fighters and fans. Spectators were occasionally known to rush the ring and attack one of the fighters. The overall effect was somewhere between modern boxing, MMA, and a bar fight.

    A brilliant read from our savage days. Incredible research by Brian Phillips.

  8. 100 Things I’ve Learned From The Movies

    I don’t have a proper attribution for this. It’s not mine but I kind of wish it was.

    1. The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking for you in there, and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty.
    2. You’re very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home,
    3. Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it is not necessary to speak the language. A German accent will do.
    4. A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds. That will finish in a sex scene.
    5. If staying in a haunted house, women must investigate any strange noises in their most diaphaous underwear, which is just what they happened to be carrying with them at the time the car broke down.
    6. If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long.
    7. If someone says, “I’ll be right back”, they won’t.
    8. Computer monitors never display a cursor on screen but always say: “Enter Password Now”.
    9. It is not necessary to say hello or goodbye when beginning or ending phone conversations. And none of your friends have to knock when they come for a visit. In addition, every front door can be opened from the outside without having to use a key.
    10. Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments.
    11. All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they’re going to go off.
    12. A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.
    13. If you decide to start dancing in the street everyone around you will automatically be able to mirror all the steps you come up with and hear the music in your head.
    14. Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite.
    15. When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.
    16. Any bullet from a handgun has enough force to throw a full-grown man ten feet back.
    17. Characters will always find a parking space right in front of the building they’re going to even in a large metropolitan city where parking is basically impossible.
    18. Characters at a bar or at a restaurant table will always get the attention of a server at the exact moment they need to order.
    19. When a gift/present is given, the top is wrapped separately from the rest of the box and it lifts straight off so that there is never any ripping or fumbling with wrapping paper.
    20. A chase scene on foot in a city always has a shot of one of the characters running into the street, nearly being hit by a car screeching to a halt at which point the driver flails his arm out the window and yells an expletive.
    21. Anytime a character in an awful rush confronts another character curious about his predicament, the first one says, “There’s no time to explain,” and then explains anyway.
    22. No matter how slow zombies walk they will always catch up.
    23. The bad guy will always throw his gun at you to indicate he has run out of bullets.
    24. A candle or table lamp can light a whole room and at night time, it’s blue.
    25. If the main guy is in love with the main girl, he will always get her in the end, even if she’s married. If she is married, her husband will always say “oh well, if it makes you happy”… and he’ll never go to beat the crap out of the other guy.
    26. If you are in a film, it is easy for you to master the skill of controling any vehicle you need, weather it be landing a plane, for example.
    27. Everybody when needing a computer can type supper fast and never need to hit the space bar!
    28. Computers never freeze or crash, unlike in the real world.
    29. The computers have super duper graphics programes which can zoom into blurs in fotos to make them super clear!
    30. The best way to get laid is to put on some slow jazz music.
    31. Everytime the “hero” is sneeking into the bad guy’s room, checking secret files on the computer:
        1a. The password is already typed in.
        1b. The password is very simple.
        2. There appears a very slow bar saying “copying”, “deleting” or “printing” and it is finished just before the bad guy, the security guard or the mexican cleaner comes in.
        3. In addition to your non-booting computer, they are also turned off in a flash.
        4. All the characters, even the blonde bimbo’s put in to lure us to the cinema, became all-knowing super-mega-nerds once behind a computer. They always know what to do and how to avoid things.
    32. Good guys never panic, they stay cool at point black range, and bluff their way out with the “you could surely use me in your plan” crap.
    33. Heavy guns, for example on helicopters, cause cosmetic damage to the hero’s transport, but one bullet makes the chopper blow up.
    34. Text appearing on a computer monitor appears letter by letter and making a sound as if it was produced by a typewriter.
    35. You can find whatever you want on the net in a matter of seconds.
    36. If in a battle scene a bad guy actually manages to shoot a good guy, the good guy’s friend has the time to listen to his friend’s dying speech. Once dead, the friend stands up and shoots the correct bad guy (amongst a whole host of bad guys). The bad guy has apparently been sitting around just waiting to be shot!!
    37. No Australian movie is complete without one of this:
        1. A Kangaroo.
        2. A Boomerang.
        3. Ayers Rock.
        4. A Koala.
        5. All of the above.
    38. When someone uses a TV remote it makes a clicking sound that is impossible to replicate by existing remotes.
    39. When gunfire erupts in public places and cops respond instantly to it, they’re usally killed by the first shots.
    40. When gunfire erupts in public, where there are no cops, they take forever to arrive, but they can still chase the gunmen.
    41. Detectives can watch a drug deal (carried out furtively in a shop doorway) go down from a distance of five yards away by the simple expedient of sitting in a car with a newspaper raised to eye level.
    42. Cats always make a noise. If someone is creeping into a house and is momentarily scared by a cat, it always has to meow before running off.
    43. A woman being chased by a murderer will always fall over, either because she’s running in stilettos or is ridiculously clumsy.
    44. Serial killers never just die… they will remain still for ages so that the hero is fooled and walks right past them… at which point the killer grabs their ankle and then keeps fighting.
    45. It is possible to drive safely for long periods with your head turned completely away from the road ahead, either in conversation or looking at a map.
    46. People brush their teeth before eating breakfast but not afterwards, at which point they run out the door with a piece of toast in their mouth.
    47. Aussie accents in American films always sound like a mix of Cockney, South African and New Zealander. And they say things like “Streuth!” and “Blimey!”
    48. The bad guy’s sexy girl will try to seduce the good guy, then when that fails will beat him up using martial arts. That while wearing skintight leather, lycra and stilettos.
    49. Women can never find their car keys while being pursued by a killer. Once they do find them, it takes them ages to fumble the keys into the ignition, giving the killer enough time to reach the car and pound on the window.
    50. Somehow cars take several turns of the key to start but only when someone is chasing you.
    51. Every bad guy knows how to tie really complicated knots… which somehow the good guy manages to untie.
    52. A person investigating strange noises in their house always finds that the lights don’t work, then stumble around in the dark rather than getting a torch. At least one of the noises they hear will turn out to be made by a cat.
    53. When a cat eats a fish, it leaves the skeleton perfectly reserved and intact.
    54. Dogs always bark at ghosts.
    55. Vicious guard dogs can be easily distracted with a piece of steak.
    56. Mice can somehow fashion a perfectly semi-circular entrance to their dwelling.
    57. A small goat is capable of propelling a fully grown man through the air by butting him in the ass with it’s horns.
    58. Many animals, when they consume alcohol, will take on human drunken characteristics, usually to the sound of a trombone being played.
    59. Anytime a person is expecting a bad guy to jump out at them, often they’ll sigh in relief when it’s just the cat, or the wind, or a tree branch against the window. But as soon as they let their guard down and laugh at their “silliness”, they’re going to be attacked by the bad guy that really was there after all.
    60. When someone puts a baby down to bed, that baby coos and smiles, and then just goes right off to sleep. It’s amazing.
    61. If someone jumps off a bridge into a river, lake, etcetera, the water will always be deep enough to keep them from getting hurt. But when a bad guy falls from a river, he/she’s good as gone.
    62. Police officers never wait for back-up.
    63. The only time people do say hello on the telephone is when it turns to be the bad guy on the other end of line calling to torment them.
    64. Bad things usually happen to women who are alone in the house on stormy nights.
    65. If you are driving somewhere on any other route other than a city roadway, you will probably have that road all to yourself and will not pass or be passed by another vehicle.
    66. In the movies everyone seems to have some odd “L shaped” sheets on their beds able to cover a woman up to her neck and her partner up to his waste.
    67. Being around a bomb causes time to slow down.
    68. Bad guys die instantly, good guys die slowly.
    69. When the good guy is being attacked by a gang, they will run at him one at a time while the rest stay (in the case of ninjas, dance) around in a menacing manner, allowing him to kick all of their asses by the time the scene is over.
    70. Most of police investigations will require at least one visit to a strip club.
    71. You can jump from a tall building and land on mattresses, a pile of boxes, or a dumpster full of garbage and, though you might groan and be a little slow getting up, you will not sustain any serious injury.
    72. It’s very easy to fool the security guards at highly top secret government institutions.
    73. It’s very easy for a computer hacker to break a security code and find just the information he’s looking for in less than a minute.
    74. If you’re a criminal mastermind, you cannot just shoot the hero in the back, you have to tie him up and wait for some diabolical machine to finish the hero off and you can’t wait around to make sure it works, which allows the hero a chance to escape, which he always does because apparently no bad guy ever got his knot tying badge in the boy scouts.
    75. When an ugly girl takes off her glasses, gets a haircut, and puts on nice clothes she is suddenly very hot.
    76. No matter who you are calling, no matter what time you are making the call, the person you’re calling will always answer the phone, usually after only one or two rings. Of course, this assumes you aren’t running from a killer while trying to make a call on a cell phone, in which case there is a 100% chance that either the battery will be dead or you won’t be able to get a signal.
    77. Whenever you put on a seatbelt, you will get into an accident.
    78. The good guy always has the cooler cell phone.
    79. If you chase someone through a park you will never step in dog poop or chewing gum, but you will always step on someone’s picnic.
    78. No matter how crowded the bar is, there are always extra stools available right in front of a bartender who is just standing there waiting for someone to order.
    80. People who oversleep and get woken up by phone calls go straight to work without making the bed, but when they get home at night, their bed is made.
    81. People in movies rarely have to shave, and whenever a guy does shave, he will be interrupted while half finished, and will wipe the remaining shaving cream off with a towel. Of course, even the part he didn’t get to shave will be perfectly smooth.
    82. When a good guy enters a house, he/she will avoid every shot of machine gun fire while killing a lot of bad guys. He/she doesn’t need to reload his pistol until he runs out of ammo, which coincidentially happens when the main bad guy appears, at which point he fights him/her hand to hand.
    83. In battle, a normal peon soldier is shot with one bullet and instantly drops dead to the ground, while the protagonist in said battle can be shot in various places by multiple shooters, and survive with a few bandages and a cast.
    84. It doesn’t matter who you call, if they choose not to answer their phone you will get their voicemail in less than 1.5 rings.
    85. A devious villain will immediately shoot a non-important character whenever needed without hesitation. However when he finally has the chance to kill the hero seeking to craft his doom, he will undoubtedly hold a firearm trained on said protagonist for at least 90 seconds while performing a well-written soliliquoy. This delay is all the hero needs to escape.
    86. When a woman is being pursued by a scary serial killer that she knows is in her house, she will always run upstairs instead of out of the house.
    87. You can break into any house or door with a credit card.
    88. The bad guy will always tell the good guy every detail about his masterplan instead of just shooting him.
    89. Whenever a guy and a girl hop into a bed together in three seconds the girl will start moaning and will be close to climaxing. Plus the guy will always put a minimal effort, after all she will still be screaming and moaning away.
    90. When someone has stopped breathing and has no pulse, simply breathing into her mouth twice and looking extremely distressed while screaming “DON’T YOU DIE ON ME!” will bring her back to life immediately.
    91. In a TV episode where someone will probaly die, there’s always an extra character that no one has ever seen before to kill him.
    92. Aliens will always have more advanced techonology than us.
    93. When you turn on the tv, the news will always be on.
    94. People never obey warnings.
    95. There’s always a corrupt police officer.
    96. Movie theatres and drive-ins only show classic horror movies.
    98. If you meet a member of the opposite sex, and you both hate each other… don’t worry… you’ll eventually fall in love with each other.
    99. Major disasters always happen in New York.
    100. The President is always very considerate and well-spoken. Not to mention he always is able to fly a jet fighter when needed. 

  9. McSweeney's Internet Tendency: It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers. →

    I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get my hands on some fucking gourds and arrange them in a horn-shaped basket on my dining room table. That shit is going to look so seasonal. I’m about to head up to the attic right now to find that wicker fucker, dust it off, and jam it with an insanely ornate assortment of shellacked vegetables. When my guests come over it’s gonna be like, BLAMMO! Check out my shellacked decorative vegetables, assholes. Guess what season it is—fucking fall. There’s a nip in the air and my house is full of mutant fucking squash.

    I may even throw some multi-colored leaves into the mix, all haphazard like a crisp October breeze just blew through and fucked that shit up. Then I’m going to get to work on making a beautiful fucking gourd necklace for myself. People are going to be like, “Aren’t those gourds straining your neck?” And I’m just going to thread another gourd onto my necklace without breaking their gaze and quietly reply, “It’s fall, fuckfaces. You’re either ready to reap this freaky-assed harvest or you’re not.”

    Carving orange pumpkins sounds like a pretty fitting way to ring in the season. You know what else does? Performing an all-gourd reenactment of an episode ofDiff’rent Strokes—specifically the one when Arnold and Dudley experience a disturbing brush with sexual molestation. Well, this shit just got real, didn’t it? Felonies and gourds have one very important commonality: they’re both extremely fucking real. Sorry if that’s upsetting, but I’m not doing you any favors by shielding you from this anymore.

    The next thing I’m going to do is carve one of the longer gourds into a perfect replica of the Mayflower as a shout-out to our Pilgrim forefathers. Then I’m going to do lines of blow off its hull with a hooker. Why? Because it’s not summer, it’s not winter, and it’s not spring. Grab a calendar and pull your fucking heads out of your asses; it’s fall, fuckers.

    Have you ever been in an Italian deli with salamis hanging from their ceiling? Well then you’re going to fucking love my house. Just look where you’re walking or you’ll get KO’d by the gauntlet of misshapen, zucchini-descendant bastards swinging from above. And when you do, you’re going to hear a very loud, very stereotypical Italian laugh coming from me. Consider yourself warned.

    For now, all I plan to do is to throw on a flannel shirt, some tattered overalls, and a floppy fucking hat and stand in the middle of a cornfield for a few days. The first crow that tries to land on me is going to get his avian ass bitch-slapped all the way back to summer.

    Welcome to autumn, fuckheads!

  10. 
hoeplease: (source: james)
“I picked this up yesterday (full price, suckers—s’nothin’), and I think dudes trying to graft onto this record some overarching concept or some moral underpinning are reaching. I can appreciate the impulse, because for many reasons (reasons, it should be noted, that are being missed by many of the over-literal smart-dumb vivisectors around here who have mistaken all the hubbub for something having to do with originality or message or subject-verb agreement or some similarly irrelevant shit) this record doesn’t feel like just another record, but, I mean, come on now: When every expression of paranoia or regret is a single pea under mattress after mattress of coke, money, lifestyle, and coke-money lifestyle, reading it as a moral tale takes an unseemly amount of princeliness. I think this insistence on the album’s progress or movement (from victim to victimizer, from underdog to top dog, from braggadocio to remorse, etc.) rings false because part of what’s really hitting me is the brilliant static quality of this record. Nothing on here goes anywhere. Every single song on this thing traces a very small circle—sell crack, get money, spend money, feel vague regret, but then get back to business—but traces it repeatedly, deeper every time, and with perfect focus. And it’s this repetition, this relentlessness, this inescapable acting-out of the same sequence and following the same circuit track after track after track that gives the whole thing its hypnotic gravity. It makes no sense at all to hold up individual lyrics and say, “See, these guys are smart because they know that the crack game is destructive, they know that wealth has made them paranoid and incapable of love, and I know that they know because they say it once in this one song and again in this other and….” Please miss me with that shit.
Whatever this record accomplishes, it does so not by talking about it, but by feeling like it. Just like Velvet Underground’s “Heroin” succeeds not because it says “Man, heroin sure is fucked” but because it feelsmagnetic and horrifying, or just like There’s A Riot Goin’ On succeeds not because it says “Fuck you, hippies—shit is real” but because it feels dystopian and personal and cauterized and utterly non-communal, Hell Hath No Fury succeeds not by pointing out the traps of the crack game, but by feeling, on every conceivable level, trapped. Everything that happens in these songs feels like it’s already happened—no real history, no important future, just…done. Time is flat. Everything just is. For all the references to jets and Europe and globe-trotting hither and yon, I hear no exterior at all in this record—it’s all driver’s seats and cockpits and showrooms and hotel rooms and front rooms and VIP rooms and rooms with walls that seem to be closing in because they are. It’s the airtight coffin that won’t let the body decompose, yunno? You won’t get that listening to one cut or quoting one verse; it’s all in the accumulation. They keep piling on detail after detail because, after all, what else can they do? Shit just keeps coming, but their circle isn’t getting any bigger.   And the music knows this, too. All the beats are big, but not one of them sounds open to me. Just like the lyrics, they all sound both inescapable and incapable of escaping themselves, just evil and broke-dick, grindstone after grindstone. No whole drums anywhere—those that are shiny are broken (the clipped cymbal fills in “Dirty Money”), and those that are healthy are obscured (the massive rolls buried alive under “Hello New World”). There’s all these bits of hand percussion beating cloven hooves under everything, and from the wheezing squeezebox in “Mama I’m So Sorry” to the muzzy keyboard nag in “Dirty Money” to the unintelligible spoken-word particulate that clogs some distant filter in the deep background of “Trill,” the whole thing just sounds enormous and syphilitic. As a setting for the above, it couldn’t be more perfect. I don’t expect to hear a record this good for quite a while.And who the fuck is mistaking this for a club record?”

    hoeplease: (source: james)

    “I picked this up yesterday (full price, suckers—s’nothin’), and I think dudes trying to graft onto this record some overarching concept or some moral underpinning are reaching. I can appreciate the impulse, because for many reasons (reasons, it should be noted, that are being missed by many of the over-literal smart-dumb vivisectors around here who have mistaken all the hubbub for something having to do with originality or message or subject-verb agreement or some similarly irrelevant shit) this record doesn’t feel like just another record, but, I mean, come on now: When every expression of paranoia or regret is a single pea under mattress after mattress of coke, money, lifestyle, and coke-money lifestyle, reading it as a moral tale takes an unseemly amount of princeliness. I think this insistence on the album’s progress or movement (from victim to victimizer, from underdog to top dog, from braggadocio to remorse, etc.) rings false because part of what’s really hitting me is the brilliant static quality of this record. Nothing on here goes anywhere. Every single song on this thing traces a very small circle—sell crack, get money, spend money, feel vague regret, but then get back to business—but traces it repeatedly, deeper every time, and with perfect focus. And it’s this repetition, this relentlessness, this inescapable acting-out of the same sequence and following the same circuit track after track after track that gives the whole thing its hypnotic gravity. It makes no sense at all to hold up individual lyrics and say, “See, these guys are smart because they know that the crack game is destructive, they know that wealth has made them paranoid and incapable of love, and I know that they know because they say it once in this one song and again in this other and….” Please miss me with that shit.

    Whatever this record accomplishes, it does so not by talking about it, but by feeling like it. Just like Velvet Underground’s “Heroin” succeeds not because it says “Man, heroin sure is fucked” but because it feelsmagnetic and horrifying, or just like There’s A Riot Goin’ On succeeds not because it says “Fuck you, hippies—shit is real” but because it feels dystopian and personal and cauterized and utterly non-communal, Hell Hath No Fury succeeds not by pointing out the traps of the crack game, but by feeling, on every conceivable level, trapped. Everything that happens in these songs feels like it’s already happened—no real history, no important future, just…done. Time is flat. Everything just is. For all the references to jets and Europe and globe-trotting hither and yon, I hear no exterior at all in this record—it’s all driver’s seats and cockpits and showrooms and hotel rooms and front rooms and VIP rooms and rooms with walls that seem to be closing in because they are. It’s the airtight coffin that won’t let the body decompose, yunno? You won’t get that listening to one cut or quoting one verse; it’s all in the accumulation. They keep piling on detail after detail because, after all, what else can they do? Shit just keeps coming, but their circle isn’t getting any bigger. 
      
    And the music knows this, too. All the beats are big, but not one of them sounds open to me. Just like the lyrics, they all sound both inescapable and incapable of escaping themselves, just evil and broke-dick, grindstone after grindstone. No whole drums anywhere—those that are shiny are broken (the clipped cymbal fills in “Dirty Money”), and those that are healthy are obscured (the massive rolls buried alive under “Hello New World”). There’s all these bits of hand percussion beating cloven hooves under everything, and from the wheezing squeezebox in “Mama I’m So Sorry” to the muzzy keyboard nag in “Dirty Money” to the unintelligible spoken-word particulate that clogs some distant filter in the deep background of “Trill,” the whole thing just sounds enormous and syphilitic. As a setting for the above, it couldn’t be more perfect. I don’t expect to hear a record this good for quite a while.

    And who the fuck is mistaking this for a club record?”

  11. A Random Tale of the Insanity That Is My Roommate (a.k.a. Frumpy’s On A Rampage)

    I’m in the middle of production hell so I’ll keep this relatively brief. My roommate is fucking fucked. Not a little fucked. Not a full-blown mental case either, but just enough that when you hear her daily conversations as I’ve been privy to, you realize that the Beast has no more than three friends. One of which being her mother, one her sister and the third is her ‘lover’, a woman with 15+ years on her that openly admitted to having another lady on the side (that was the “I’m such a fooooooooool” day that interrupted my workflow in a shriek that rivaled anything high school could produce). Anyways! I’m working away on Echo at the dinner table, feet up. I’ve got the TV on and my dinner dishes are nearby as I’d just eaten. The Beast trots in, looking surly. I say hello, she says nothing. She then says, “Oh Ryan, you’re soooo funnay. I mean, you’re just funnay.” I return serve, “What do you mean, funny?” “You’re just funny.” At this point, she shuts the TV off and walks past me without any regard. She then says, “You’re slipping, you’re usually so neat and there’s dishes everywhere.” I have a Tupperware container in front of me, a cookie sheet on the stove and a couple dishes in the sink. I say, “Yeah, I just ate dinner.” She walks past me, back to the main room and puts the TV remotes back in their hiding spot. That’s right, hiding spot. She hid them on me, since I come downstairs to watch TV all of twice a month when there’s something I can’t get in my room. (I don’t have a cable box so all of the premium channels are lost to me. I abuse the 60GB internet limit, so it’s a fair trade-off.) So, away the remotes go into the former weed case that used to be teeming with half ounces…a slick reminder of why she’s grumpy all the fucking time. There’s a shitty neighbourhood paper under my glass, phone and mail next to me. She places the glass on the table and does the ol’ tablecloth trick with the rest. I’m becoming more agitated but am taking the high road since killing a passive-aggressive with kindness is the best way to find out what the real problem is. She’s steaming by now and I don’t know why. I put on last.fm (since my white noise, the Rays/Yanks game has been denied from me due to random insanity) and continue about my work as if she’s not in the room. Tactic #2: P/As hate being ignored as they’re trying to do the same. Outignoring the ignorer causes more boiling water to pour over. She does a few random things in the kitchen, being extra loud in a classic 6-year old tantrum. I see this as a success and start singing to the music. She mills about doing random checks on everything in the room and heads upstairs. After a few mins, I kill last.fm and grab my iPod. My stereo goes criminally unused and since I’m down here, might as well, right? I do my best to ignore my immature, vengeful self :to blare Clipse until the Beast stomps down the stairs in an uncouth power trip:. I was inches, I tells ya. Within the two minutes of the music switch, I can hear her talking to Sister or Lover about me. Random quotes: “I came home and he was down there on his computer just ignoring me.” “I don’t know what he’s trying to prove but he’s not going to get under my skin. It’s too bad, really.” The other person validates, and is followed by, “I know, I’m going to have my mother come by during the day to make sure.” From what I gauge, I’m undermining her in a grand scheme to destroy her sensibilities. Within the next two and a half weeks, I’ll seemingly have more tricks like this awaiting her. My ultimate goal will obviously be to remove her soul from her puritan body in a ritualistic ceremony not unlike the witches of 18th century Pennsylvania. This is all, of course, while I pack my things and get the fuck out of here. This girl is so high on herself, she can’t see past herself. If I were in psychiatry, I’d have my thesis ready to go.

  12. Bag It, Maligners: Reconsidering Jordan’s Baseball Experiment
This is my newly-minted favourite piece of Jordan memorabilia ever. 

    Bag It, Maligners: Reconsidering Jordan’s Baseball Experiment

    This is my newly-minted favourite piece of Jordan memorabilia ever. 

  13. 0 views →

    Best idea for a site in awhile. Futility makes it awesome.

  14. thedailywhat:

Traffic Jam of the Day Month: It’s official — you are no longer allowed to bitch about your commute: Motorists headed toward Beijing on China’s National Expressway 110 have been sitting in traffic for the past nine days, snarled for over 100 kilometers in a jam that is expected to last a month.
From Xinhuanet:

Since August 14, thousands of Beijing-bound trucks have jammed the expressway again, and traffic has stretched for more than 100 kilometers between Beijing and Huai’an in Heibei Province, and Jining in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China National Radio (CNR) reported Sunday.
Small traffic accidents or broken-down cars are aggravating the jam, the report said.
“Insufficient traffic capacity on the National Expressway 110 caused by maintenance construction since August 19 is the major cause of the congestion,” a publicity officer with the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, told the Global Times on condition of anonymity Sunday.

“I’m stuck in a month-long traffic jam” is my new favorite late-for-work excuse.
[xinhuanet.]

    thedailywhat:

    Traffic Jam of the Day Month: It’s official — you are no longer allowed to bitch about your commute: Motorists headed toward Beijing on China’s National Expressway 110 have been sitting in traffic for the past nine days, snarled for over 100 kilometers in a jam that is expected to last a month.

    From Xinhuanet:

    Since August 14, thousands of Beijing-bound trucks have jammed the expressway again, and traffic has stretched for more than 100 kilometers between Beijing and Huai’an in Heibei Province, and Jining in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China National Radio (CNR) reported Sunday.

    Small traffic accidents or broken-down cars are aggravating the jam, the report said.

    “Insufficient traffic capacity on the National Expressway 110 caused by maintenance construction since August 19 is the major cause of the congestion,” a publicity officer with the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, told the Global Times on condition of anonymity Sunday.

    “I’m stuck in a month-long traffic jam” is my new favorite late-for-work excuse.

    [xinhuanet.]