Saturday, June 26, 2010

I Got a Stone

...where my heart should be.

What I'm trying to say is that I'm filled with hate. Okay, so maybe hate is too strong a word.

Anger, then. Yeah, anger.

Clarification: I reached my idiot quota for the week. Seriously, people need to get with the program or...I don't know, never leave Mommy's basement. Electronic devices need electricity to work. Forget about the science behind it. Just drill this into your empty little head, ya fools:

No electricity, no worky.

Simple? Yeah, it really is...just...that...simple.

I guess I just need to get over it. Or get out of the "troubleshooting" biz. It's a process. You rule out the little shit first, then move on to the more complex stuff. Hence the whole "check power" step. But when the "check power" step, which is should be so damn easy, becomes a long drawn-out ordeal of horror, then you're just fucked. You're fucked! This person can not help you. This person can only waste your time, which has of late, has been a precious commodity in the workplace.

On the plus side, the week after next I'm taking some time off...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm a Singer

So I'm in a minor hip-hop phase. I say minor, because it mostly consists of watching the Beef documentaries on Netflix and listening to this song, which I guess is technically hip-hop but not your usual sort.

It's by MIA, a controversial rapper(?) from the UK, or Indonesia, or somewhere. I'm not even sure. She speaks with an English accent and raps about the Tamil Tigers. Her street vibe is straight out of Ali G.

And though this isn't really "my thing," I do think she's got some interesting rhymes in here, and I do like the beats, abstract as they are.

But then there's this.

The Big Four

Tomorrow I'm going to the encore performance of the Big Four, playing at theaters near you. It was recorded last night, but I didn't feel like going last night. I have it on good authority (the following Youtube clip) that all four bands --Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax-- got on stage and performed Am I Evil?

You may not know this, but a clip of that song has always been accessible on my blog. It's the "Audio Clip" on my profile. Believe that. (And pronounce it like "B'lee dat.")

So I've tried to check out some buzz about the show, see how long it is, see what songs they play. I checked out what Anthrax --now with Joey again-- had on their set-list a few shows back and blegh.

They always pick the songs I like least. Here's the set list from their June 16th show in Warsaw:

01. Caught in a Mosh
02. Got the Time (JOE JACKSON cover)
03. Indians
04. Heaven and Hell (BLACK SABBATH cover)
05. Antisocial (TRUST cover)
06. Madhouse
07. Only
08. Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
09. I Am The Law

The songs I'd want to hear on that list? I Am the Law and Indians. Songs I don't want to hear? Definitely Only. Anthrax carries that song around like it's their signature hit, but no. Sorry, guys, but that song sucks. I don't want to hear it in concert. I don't want to hear Joey sing it. I don't wanna hear it period.

And the cover songs? Yeah, so you kind of made them your own. But really? Three of them? You've got a career that spans almost 30 years, and you pick three cover songs for your Big Four setlist?

Points for Black Sabbath, but excuse me for wanting to hear Keep It In the Family or Among the Living instead.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Weekend

I went down to Pride this weekend, both days. On Saturday, I met my Mom down there and we walked around, looked at the people, caught a band. The band was Coles Whalen, a local singer-songwriter with a country vibe. She sang a song about how her love is like a cactus and, well, I fell in love.

I bought all three of her CDs (none of which have the cactus song, unfortunately) and got one signed. I would have taken a picture of her, but I was having a bad hair day. Good stuff, check her out.

Later my cousin Josh and his boyfriend Cliff showed up. Then my brother came, my darling niece wandering around his ankles. It was like a family reunion! On "family day" no less.

We hung out for a bit, and then I went up to Boulder with Josh and Cliff. We wandered around Pearl Street in the middle of the night, and about the only places with a crowd were the night clubs. Some of the bars were full, but it was the night clubs. I saw some people with money (and fresh haircuts and expensive clothes and brand new smartphones) as well as some very tall people.

Pearl Street is much better before midnight, but at least by then all the homeless skate kids were gone.

I crashed on the couch and in the morning we walked over to Boulder Creek, busting at the seams with glacier melt. A few kayakers were getting technical on one of the drops, and there were a few foolish tubers who always lost their tubes, but it was beautiful. Blooming wildflowers, ancient trees, new trees, white water, mossy rocks. We could have waded in, but the water was too high.

Then more Pride. I must have walked around Civic Center Park five times this weekend, the whole circuit. En Vogue was playing the main stage at three, so we made out way into the crowd. Everyone wanted to see En Vogue. Real women, actually singing? After all the drag shows I've endured, sign me up!

But the crowd was tight, and En Vogue was now three instead of four, and to be honest, they didn't sound that great. (I'm not sure it was their could have been the sound system.)

A couple things about Pride this year. It was different. I missed the parade, so I can't comment on that, but it seemed, well, a lot less gay. I don't mean that in a bad way. I just mean that I saw as many femme stripper-type lesbians as I saw butch mullet-wearing ones. There were some little gay boys in swim shorts, but there were also a lot of guido Jersey Shore looking ones too.

Maybe gay culture is diversifying, I don't know. But as a guy who has lamented some people's willingness to conform to stereotypes (especially in the context of Pride) I'm glad to see the stereotypes changing, if not going away altogether.

I like stripper-looking femme lesbians. More of that, I say.

And the last thing I want to say about Pride has nothing to do with Pride, but everything to do with the well-intentioned fools that call themselves activists.

They had a "free speech zone" setup for protesters but there really weren't very many and the zone was so small and stupid that you wouldn't want to be seen there anyway. But there were these people, holding a sign that said, and I paraphrase because I can't remember it exactly, "Stop the resource-driven profit-motivated society." Something about resource-driven profit-motivated, anyway.

It's something I've thought about, how to use our resources in a smart way (but using them nonetheless) and how profit can be harnessed, not for greedy selfish purposes, but as a motivational factor for some societal good. Of course, there is the flip side, which is what these people want to discuss, how greed ruins everything, and how exploiting our natural resources is going to destroy the planet.

Yes, there is a point to their sign.

But then I watched the lady pull out a cell phone and make a call. A routine activity for most people, something we don't even think about. (Remember when you had to be at home or a payphone to make a call?) But what does this lady think makes this tiny routine activity possible?

How many resources went into the construction of that phone, the plastic cover, the rare minerals that go into making the screen and the chip and the battery, or what about the resources that go into maintaining a cell phone network, all those towers and trunks? Trust me, it's no small endeavor. And why do you think the phone company does it? Do they make life easier for the misguided dupe holding a sign out of kindness?

Let's open their phone bill and see what it says. "Dear sir or madam, We're here to make your life easier. Don't worry about paying your bill this month. Go to the movies instead."

No, profit is the grease that lubricates the gears of modern life. I'm not one of those profit-uber-alles types, but come on, I recognize the basic motivating force of making a few bucks.

Now maybe this lady understands this, and like me, realizes that yeah it sucks that landscapes are being scraped for their precious metals and toxic slag is being dumped into water ways and all that oil and exhaust from shipping it all over the world, the plastic in the packaging, the plastic in the bag you brought it home in, but unless you want to be like the Amish and avoid the modern world completely, there's not much you, as an individual, can do about it. Yeah, so we have cell phones. We're part of the problem. I'm sorry, Earth. My need to connect with my friends at my convenience is bigger than your need to have lithium in your pores.

But I don't think she does. She's out there leaning on a sign, talking on a cellphone, trying to educate people on what, exactly? Naivete? Hypocrisy?