Monday, November 24, 2008

Thoughts From The Walk Home

Exiting the bus long before my stop to get Scotch tape and a side dish for dinner*, I came to a conclusion while walking the rest of the way home: It's cold.

Q: How cold?

A: Colder than Dick Cheney's heart*2.

What do you mean, "this is two sizes too small"?

* I went with New York brand Five-cheese Garlic Toast. The most Eastern Liberal Elite of all garlic toasts.

*2 Yes, he DOES have a heart......but it pumps high-grade oil. The techs at Cheney Corp have yet to find a better alternative power source for his many steampunk-style servos and pulley system strength enhancers. They tried retrofitting him with a homunculus in his chest cavity, but the imp wreaked absolute hell with his targeting systems - hence the time he shot that old man in the face.

Friday, November 21, 2008

More Information Than You Require - John Hodgman

If, like me, you are constantly frustrated by the mainstream media's ignorance regarding the contributions made to our democracy by mole men, take heart*. John Hodgman, of internet and minor television fame, is ready to blow the doors off the vault of knowledge with More Information Than You Require.

There's the vault of knowledge now. Prior to this book it was fifty percent less explode-y.

A direct continuation of his previous work, The Areas Of My Expertise, MITYR*2 doesn't even bother restarting page count from where it's predecessor left off (it's that much of a continuation). There's always more fake knowledge to be illuminated and Hodgman's flashlight of false truth runs on some organic battery alternative to conventional means*3. Whether he's revealing which of our presidents was a Time Lord, why uber-guitarist Steve Vai could not bring himself to kill Ralph Macchio, or the hidden danger of tiny doctors from the future, Hodgman does so with the studiousness and passion I wish our actual "accredited" historians could. But they can't.

It takes a rare breed to hang out on Twitter and go to Hollywood parties, plumbing the depths of situational notoriety in search of mole-manic rumor and sure thing bar bets to compile for his readers. I salute you, John Hodgman; you live the life so Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough*4 don't have to, and that has made all the difference.

On a personal note, this book is worth buying simply to know why Milwaukee was destroyed by a violent downpour of skulls on February 12th, 1980. Having been born just nineteen months later, I never knew of this event, and probably never would have if not for John Hodgman and his wonderful lies*5.

* Genuine Hissfurther, you are not forgotten.

*2 As the kids and the robots call it.

*3 Much like the Oan Power Ring of
Green Lantern fame.

In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power...Green Lantern's light!

*4 Respected historians who write about 'actual' history, if that's what you're in to.

*5 Now I know why I find skulls every time I hang out at the beach. Whew! That's a relief!

Good Music That I Have Recently Accquired - Cardinology

The election is over*. The tragicomedy of robo-calls, pallin' around with terrorists, and crazy ladies who don't trust radical Muslim Arab Socialists who belong to radical Christian churches who hate America has come to a close. The curtain is down, and I've got nothin'*2.

So, until I can reliably purchase my comic books and write about them*3, we'll be branching out into another source of entertainment. Music.

Whether by hook or by crook*4, here's some new music I've enjoyed. You should enjoy it too; or don't you like music? If you don't, I can't actually make a case for your humanity, robot.

This time we'll be looking at:

Cardinology - Ryan Adams & The Cardinals

There's an elephant in the room*5 when you talk about Ryan Adams. The haters say two things; "He just makes the same records" and "He jumps around between genres too much". First, shut up. Then, reconcile those two statements. You can't, can you? Know why? Because they are directly at odds with one another. I can see a time twenty years on, after Sarah Palin has plunged us into a nuclear winter during her third administration, when people talk about Ryan Adams like we talk about Neil Young right now. He's got a lot to say, most of it entirely worth your loss of hearing. Some of it needs saying in a honkytonk, some in a sweaty arena, some on your stoop while talking with a pretty lady (or pretty dude), and some on the morning after being in those places, when your brain is still soaked in a cocktail of endorphins, regret and alcohol*6.

With that opening statement out of the way, is it any good? Cardinology is so 'any good' that it's 'any great'. Adams is spot-on lyrically and The Cardinals continue to be the best musicians your hipster friend forgets to name-check when making dream lineups and ordering frilly cocktails*7. By turns hopeful, heartbroken, snide, shit-kicking, whistful and tuneful, there's not a bad song of the lot. And as stated earlier, The Cardinals sound like Music wished it could sound when it was Little Music. This being the last album of their contract with Lost Highway Records, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if all forthcoming releases just came out under the name The Cardinals. Maybe then skeptics could put aside there preconceptions of the front man and enjoy the music and words without the drama and spotlight.

Also, Ryan Adams is a huge Batman fan who admits to using some comic dialogue while writing lyrics*8. Score!

* Except for Georgia and Minnesota; seriously, GA, can you keep yourselves from voting for the man that even John McCain called "worse than disgraceful" and "reprehensible"? And Minnesota, join the progressive midwest; we won't make you gay marry a spotted owl......yet.

*2 The hits to this site plummet when I don't post, and I love anonymous attention too much to let so much time go by between your visits. Get ready for a flurry of small posts to sucker you into coming back and checking if anything consequential is going on. Whorish, to be sure.

*3 Which everyone knows is a vastly underserved corner of 'the internets'.

*4 That is to say by either robbery using a bladed prosthesis or shoplifting.

*5 'The room' meaning the international net we call the interwebs. It's a big room, but there's a funky smell that pervades most of it. Sorry, that was me. Also, the elephant is looking smaller since November 4th.

Endorphins, Regret and Alcohol: The Justin Riley Story

*7 Bar rule: Anything that takes longer than five seconds to order is inefficient and lame.

*8 This is good unless I hear the phrase 'cowardly and superstitious lot' on the next album. Then it's

Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Interweb Meme Of "On To You"

Respected yet pensive, biking-to-work public radio host John Moe started this with the prodding of Scott "I have a bitchin' podcast" Simpson.

Let's expand this series of tubes to let the world know "I'm On To You". Here's my contribution...

I'm on to you, guy wearing shorts on November 20th in Milwaukee.

I'm on to you, Henry Paulson.

I'm on to you, "The entire (insert name of comic book universe) will be changed forever!!!"

I'm on to you with a vengeance, out of state money to sway another state's civil rights laws.

And there's no way I couldn't be on to you, reduced size Cadbury Creme Eggs. My hunger found you out.

So, what are you on to? What or who isn't fooling you for a second. Leave your comments and I'll buy you a black and white cookie.*

* In honor of Barack Obama. No, not an Oreo, that's just wrong and mean. In honor of togetherness and unity and hope and change and cookies*2.

*2 Offer of cookie valid in Milwaukee, WI only. Sorry other 49 and D.C., I gots to look out for my peeps.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thank You, America

Just thanks.

Vote Like You Matter

They've called us fake. They've said we're apathetic. They've said that when we do care we're radical, or naive, or daydreamers. They've called us Anti-American. They have riddled the system with disincentives to participate. They have corrupted our process with rules designed to keep us out until we've become sufficiently beaten down to just accept what we're given, like kicked dogs at their feet.

Who is they? Well, it's them, most assuredly. But it's also us. We've been jaded, uninformed, distracted. We've almost let this country get so twisted and unrecognizable that it's beyond our ability to address what's wrong.

Today's the day to change that. Today is the day to use the most powerful voice we have, the collective outcry against what is wrong; the clarion call to stop killing in our name, stop rewarding vultures and opportunists. To stop the anti-thought that parades around as patriotism.

Today is the day to prove that we are paying attention. To prove that we know when we're being lied to and that we do not agree to keep taking it. Today is the day to say apathy is a luxury we don't have anymore, and that we've grown immune to the fear they've tried to cultivate in us. Today is the day to be better people and to demand that our leaders be better people too.

The world is watching, and they matter. We are not alone on this planet, and we cannot continue to pretend otherwise. We need to be an example to those who need one, and a humble adherent to the best ideas and positive spirit put forth from all areas of the world.

Today is the day to show that we care about us, and we care about them, too.

So go vote already.