Finding My Mind

I’ve recently realized that I have a blog with some pretty good shit on it that I have systematically neglected for far too long. Yes, the Lost Posts from when I had private hosting are forever gone, and they do fill a page or so, but it shames me to both want to say so much, and actually say so little.

It may be the worst case of chronic writers’ block to ever exist, but more likely it is the result of the great trials from which I have just emerged. The past two years, in many ways the past ten, have been transformative and revelatory beyond what I had previously thought possible. Time has seemed to speed up, I never quite lost myself in the storm of change, but now, in my new home, I am having trouble reconnecting with my mind, my writerly ways. Still, now is the time.

Have I ever mentioned that I love Warehouse 13? Sure it isn’t the greatest Sci-Fi show ever made, but it is fun, and it has some wonderful human character moments. I found myself watching this video of the one-of-a-kind treasure that is Allison Scagliotti, performing The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind” on the show. Her character has had her troubles, to say the least. The preface to this video has her character, Claudia Donovan talking about how she needs to get out of her comfort zone. I concur. I think its time to get out of my comfort zone, and back to my mind.

Thanks, Scags.

P.S. Allison, if you’re ever reading this, you’re pretty awesome. I’m pretty awesome too. We should totally get together and be awesome sometime.


World Cup Thought Experiment

Imagine the scene.  You’re at the World Cup in South Africa, bleeding from every orifice due to the sonic pressure of the dread Vuvuzela.  Suddenly, during the championship game God descends.  Obviously this will cause a stoppage in play.

And He comes right on down and says to the crowd “Okay, let’s try switching things up a little bit.  There are 20,000 religious lunatics in the Vatican right now, and 20,000 soccer (Yes England I said soccer, how do you like Me now?) lunatics blowing Vuvuzelas in this stadium.  I am going to switch them for laughs.  Alright?  Alright.  Peace out, bitches!”

And just like that, 20,000 shrieking, lamenting, chanting, Catholics are in the stands at the World Cup in South Africa.  Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI is startled by his congregation suddenly being replaced with 20,000 drunks playing the Vuvuzela.

What do you, dear reader, think would happen?

Personally I think it would make both activities, Soccer and Organized Religion, a great deal more entertaining

The Root of All Evil

Has anyone else ever noticed that the folk-devil trumpeted as “the reason our kids are all going to be evil baby-raping murderous sociopaths” changes several times per generation?  It’s true!

In my generation, we’ve had rap, marylin manson (notable for being one of the few individuals declared to be the antichrist, although he was doing it himself long before the media caught on), video games, and violent films blamed for all the culture’s woes.

The Boomers saw comic books, rock & roll, and the nefarious condom as their particular satans-of-the-day.

Why is this?  Why is there always something ruining the world, but it always changes, two, three times a generation, even!

Is there some bunker where Jack Thompson and Tipper Gore sit around figuring this shit out?  Are they just getting it wrong all the time?  Sometimes some new evidence comes forward and they have to revise the Enemy list?  It certainly seems like the science of “what is destroying our youth today” is imprecise.

I for one, propose a universal theorem to determine the Sociopathic Index of any particular pasttime.

Evil = (B*A)/W

M = Percentage of Brown people participating (by US reckoning)

A = Average lawsuit settlement that can be extracted from those minorities (in Millions)

W = Percentage of white kids enamored with subject matter

Lower is more evil.

See, this takes into account all the factors.  Let’s compare two perennial favorites, fundamentalist islamic terrorism and hip-hop.

Islamic terrorism has a far higher comparative percentage of brown people, whereas hip-hop employs many whites on both the creative and business sides.  However, by the Thompson Evil Quotient, Hip-Hop is actually more evil, just like these fuckers told us!  This is because there is far more money in hip-hop than in Islamic terrorism, and far more whites enjoy hip-hop than islamic terror!  By my calculations, hip-hop is approximately TEN TIMES more evil than islamic terrorism, with video games clocking in at roughly 2.5 times as evil as hip-hop!

Islamic Terror is an evil index of 400

Hip-Hop is an evil index of 40

Video Games have an evil index of 16.666 repeating!  DID YOU SEE THAT?!  6 6 6 REPEATING.  That’s like infinite Satan, right there.

(disclaimer: Andrew Zimmer is not actually batshit crazy, at least not in this particular way.   This post has been written tongue firmly planted in cheek, science has proven time and again there is no correlation between being of dark skin and being evil.  In fact, quite the opposite. -The Blue-Eyed Devil Management)

Chan Marshall Owns My Ass

So my unusual silence here could best be described as audio-derived.

Not only have I bought and installed new stereos and MP3 players, I’ve been listening to Cat Power’s Jukebox on repeat since it came out, and the verdict is in.

Chan Marshall Owns My Ass.

There’s only one original song on the album, Song for Bobby, a  sultry love-letter to Dylan that must have the man listening intently.  Being an avid fan of Dusty Springfield, and the great soul singers of the past, her voice kills me.

Give me more.  Now.

Ye gone smell-blind, honey!

I recently had the pleasure of seeing John C. Reilly’s defining role as the legendary (fake) Dewey Cox in “Walk Hard”.

It sure isn’t the smartest parody around, but it is smarter than it gets credit for.  A lot of the jokes are clear over the heads of their audience.  Those who know me will know that I find dumb humor to be a fun diversion, and truly well-done dumb humor is probably the most difficult sort to write, period.  I heartily endorse the film.

Without spoiling much, early in the film Dewey goes Smell-blind, loses his sense of smell.  The parody is brilliant, but what made me laugh most about it is that I am actually smell-blind myself.  Several years ago, for an indeterminate reason I lost my sense of smell, the only time it has ever reactivated in any way was when I smoked pot and suddenly I could smell a cheeseburger my friend was eating.

So next time you advise someone to stop and smell the roses, be careful, they might very well be smell-blind.

So Close to Classic

I picked up an album on recommendation from a good friend today, Cassadega by Bright Eyes. This album is phenomenal.

I don’t think before now I’ve heard an album emerge from my generation that comes so close to being a defining classic, a Blood on the Tracks or a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. Connor Oberst dances from Dylan to Springsteen and on to a unique brilliance. There are misses, though.

The apocalyptic “Four Winds” sets the bar high, only to be demolished by the greatest song I’ve heard this year, “If The Brakeman Turns My Way”. Oberst’s voice sounds like that of Bob Dylan’s long lost son, with a piano line worthy of Billy Joel’s finest. The album stumbles, finds its way, and redeems itself many times over through the course of the next eleven tracks, just barely failing an ascension to the loftiest peaks of singer-songwriters past.

When the final song fades, I’m left with an indescribable tinge of sadness, that this album comes so close to that life-altering brilliance that one can taste it on the final notes.