If you’re a Mad Men fan then you’re already familiar with Don Draper’s infamous pitch to Polaroid. This clever and hilarious clip is a mashup of Don’s tear-jerking and nostalgia-inducing presentation with Facebook’s new “Timeline” layout, due to launch en masse tomorrow.
Those familiar with the history and relationships between some of the show’s main characters will love this creation. The references are subtle and fly past quickly as Don scrolls through his own personal profile page. I think I laughed loudest when I saw the Korean War photo tagged "Don Draper with Don Draper". Enjoy, and for God’s sake pull yourself together and lower your voice. You’re hysterical.
An online marketing guy by profession, one of the most integral metrics I have to keep an eye on is known as keyword referral traffic. Namely, what people are typing into search engines before ending up on a given site. And Jiminy Crickets – those keywords can get weird.
Pye in the Face has been around for over a decade now, and there are thousands of posts, galleries, tags and categories capable of pulling in organic traffic from Google, Bing, etc. Most of which I’ll regret during my next job search. Through the magic of reporting software which crunches and parses log files – My tool of choice is the awesome and free Google Analytics – you can not only see what keywords are generating traffic but what search engine and which one of your pages the visitor is landing on. You can also see what country they’re from, what time of day they visited, what operating system they’re using, what browser. It’s incredibly deep, fascinating and addictive. When I first started building websites I’d check these sorts of stats fanatically – but my favorite was always, and remains, the keyword referrals.
Obviously, everyone with a website wants it to rank well in Google for a specific set of keywords. The power of big G is incredible. Fortunes are literally won and lost every time their algorithm, which determines how sites rank for a given keyword or phrase, undergoes a major update. If you sell “pink roller skates” and are #1 on Monday for that term, you’re laughing. Book a trip and start pricing jetskis. If, when you get to the warehouse on Tuesday, you’ve dropped to #39 – you’re out of business. That quickly. Better sell that jetski to Kenny Powers.
Kenny has actually had multiple liasons on jetskis.
Ranking well for mission-critical keywords is, well, mission-critical. A website has the potential to rank and draw traffic, however, for any combination of keywords which appear within the code of their site. It’s also important to note that the terms comprising a multi-word search phrase don’t have to appear on a site in the same order. They don’t all even have to appear in the same paragraph. If the potential for ridiculousness isn’t sinking in by now, it should be.
If there isn’t a ton of competition for a phrase which has somehow worked its way into your site’s copy one might find themselves on Google’s first page within a few hours of that text’s addition. Sites with regularly updated blogs especially can start ranking for hundreds – nay, thousands – of terms over the course of a few years. This is definitely the case with Pye in the Face (Last month people used 1,570 different keywords to find the site), and without prattling on about this nerdy stuff any longer I’m going to share my…
5 Favorite Phrases DavePye.com Drew Traffic for in August 2011
1. Florence Welch Bum: Florence may have her machine but she’s also in possession of a breathtaking caboose. I admit, when I featured her on Wednesday Wadio a little over a year ago I took screenshots of the best examples from the band’s video and named the resulting images “florence-youve-got-the-love-ass-video-bum.jpg” and “florence-and-the-machines-ass-butt.jpg” respectively. It was a sad, misguided experiment, but a very successful one. My site is #1 in Google (your local results may vary for everything on the list) for the aforementioned term and pulled in 6 visitors last month. It’s also the top entry in Google’s image search. Traffic also came in for florence and machine bum, and a guy named Dan actually left 2 comments looking for more Welch booty. If I roll the data back to cover an entire year, that article pulled in over a hundred visitors using 84 different keyword variations including: florence welch arse, florence welch hindquarters… butt, ass, shake, buttocks and bottom. This data is embarrassing, sad and doesn’t paint me in a particularly flattering light – but that doesn’t make it any less frickin’ fascinating.
2. Bobby McFerrin Raped my Grandmother: When Alec Baldwin hosted SNL 5 years ago he uttered this phrase during a particularly hilarious skit which you can can’t see below. I jump around on Google’s first page for the phrase, and 2 people found me using by using it last month. Since I wrote the article way back in November 2006, 65 people have typed it in before paying me a visit. I can only pray they were looking for that sketch and Bobby McFerrin isn’t being sought somewhere for questioning.
3. Bunkhouse Cock Buddies: Upon seeing traffic from this term I typed it into Google to see which post of mine could possibly be ranking for it. I went about 5 pages deep through the site results before giving up. Nothing. Then I tried image search – and sweet God in heaven do I wish I could take that back. All the therapy and bleach in the world will never erase that sight from my poor mind. Please take my word for it.
4. Does the Interrogator in the Movie Unthinkable Cut the Terrorist’s Penis Off?: The Unthinkable made an impression on me and I think my review of the Samuel L. Jackson flick holds up. I’m glad I took my time writing it because since it was published on May 28th of last year the post has pulled in an amazing 500+ people via Google and become one of my highest-viewed articles ever. I never mentioned the terrorist’s penis.
5. I’m Going to Die Alone with a Plethora of Cats: Is this someone “calling their shot”? Are they looking for a support group? Regardless, this is a great example of how different words from different areas on a site can combine causing a website show up for a bizarre search. I ranked #6 for this term and the landing page is for one of my categories. Over the course of the 10 articles which appear in this category, I mention cats, dying alone and use the word “plethora” in different posts – hence the ranking. Try to explain the ranking away as I might, I’ll still probably have my face eaten off by a cat days before my neighbors notice the smell.
Sorry, folks, if this all got a bit lengthy. After such a long period of irregular and sporadic writing I must have a lot of flexing to do. I hope you enjoyed all this disturbing data and I do believe I’ll make referral analysis a regular feature. A profoundly disturbing regular feature.
Considering yesterday’s unenthusiastic summer movie post – this is uncanny. I just learned, via JoBlo, that Raiders of the Lost Ark was released 30 years ago today. My 7-year-old self hasn’t been the same since.
If I were tasked (by someone who was incredibly bored and probably unemployed/smelling of pee) with selecting just one movie to represent my childhood – it would be Raiders. History has been kind to the film – it didn’t exactly get poor reviews on this day back in 1981 (It has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes), but it’s legacy has grown considerably. What began as little more than a fast-paced summer blockbuster (resulting from a Lucas/Spielberg collaboration dedicated to serials from the 1920s) is now heralded as a cinematic benchmark frequently selected by critics as one of the best movies of all time…
Just this past March a TV special put together by ABC News and People Magazing voted Raiders the best action movie of all time.
In 1998 the American Film Institute voted it #60 on their list of the 100 best American movies, evah. To give context it outranks Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction and Unforgiven. By a lot.
But forget about established critics and accredited film society thingys for a second. As part of my own personal tribute I’m going to share just a few foggy Raiders memories from my distant childhood:
My father must have also been a huge fan of the film, because he took me to see it 7 times. It’s how we bonded. How we related to each other – and I have no complaints.
I remember him asking his sister, my Aunt Susan, if after seeing it she thought it was appropriate for a 7-year-old. Her exact response was “Well, there’s a little bit of blood, but I think he’ll be alright.” Which brings me to the next memory…
After the first time we saw it, I ran ahead of my father and checked the back seat of his car for mummies.
My friend Adam and I spent countless hours trying to beat the tie-in Atari 2600 video game. 30 years later it is still frequently mentioned as one of the hardest games of all time.
I’d jump at any chance to accompany my Mother to the grocery store in Manotick, Ontario as I was determined to collect each of the 100 Raiders trading cards. After consuming near-fatal quantities of nasty pink-colored gum sticks, I only ever got 99 of them. The elusive card? That bastard, Belloq. And I still have all 99 in a photo album for which I actually won a Boy Scouts “collector’s” badge a couple years later.
My grandmother gave me an Indy action figure during one of her visits, that had a spring-loaded arm which would crack a little cloth whip. I still have it.
One of our neighbors, Terry (whom many years later I would end up working for in England) claimed he knew a guy who had a bootleg VHS copy and if we could organize $100 and two VCRs for the dub I could get one of my very own. Needless to say, he lived to regret telling me that. I don’t think the word “haunting” covers it.
We bought the soundtrack on LP, which I then transferred to cassette, which then became the soundtrack of many backyard adventures, blasted via carefully-balanced ghetto blaster through my bedroom window.
I remember friends and I acting out so many “takes” of the famous swordfight scene that David Fincher and Stanley Kubrick would have said in unison, “Enough already, kid. We got the shot.”
Due to a glaring lack of actual Indy toys in the marketplace, Star Wars stormtroopers and Cobra soldiers frequently stood in for Hovitos, Thuggees and Nazis.
I learned what a Nazi was.
If we forget our history we are doomed to repeat it. So in honor of this magnificent anniversary, take time out today and force a 7-year old child to sit through Raiders of the Lost Ark. And don’t let them close their eyes at the end, either. The children are our future, so teach them well and let them watch melting Nazis. Happy birthday, Dr. Jones.
Today is the first day of summer and I’m normally geeking out with anticipation over at least one upcoming movie (or seven) by now. This year is definitely different though. I really couldn’t give a flying frick about any of them – and that’s not a good feeling. It makes me long for the summers of my childhood when there’d only ever be one or two huge movies released. I blame CGI for the big-budget overload every year. And Jar-Jar Binks.
It’s a weak, weak year for the summer flick. With only two possible exceptions, as I see it. The first is the reboot of Conan the Barbarian out on August 19th and creatively entitled, “Conan”. When I heard about it a year or so ago, and found out Jason Momoa would play the title role, I was unimpressed. After seeing Momoa on Game of Thrones, however, I warmed up to the idea. After seeing the red-band trailer which was released a few days ago – I take it all back.
The second is Cowboys and Aliens. I dig Daniel Craig and love Jon Favreau as both an actor and a director. The real reason I’m amped to see the movie, however, is that there’s a direct link back to my summer movie nirvana of yesteryear to consider – Mr. Harry Ford. He’s playing a villain but I will take what I can get in these strange, digitally enhanced times.
Thor was a good flick, but its release date on May 6th makes it a stretch for inclusion as part of the season. It’s also unbelievably difficult to get excited about superhero movies anymore. It’s like the little boy who cried “wolf”, but instead of warning villagers about an impending attack by a lycanthrope – he’s just standing up there on the hill beside pastures full of tasty sheep yelling, “Superhero movie! Um, superhero movie! Superhero movie?” The villagers quickly learn that the little jerk is full of shit, possibly autistic, and then stop listening.
The little guy just keeps on screaming: Thor, X-Men, Green Lantern, Captain America – and that’s just this summer. Over the next 2 years we can look forward to no less than a half-hundred-dozen additional Marvel/DC/etc. properties hitting the big screen – Deadpool. Ant Man, another Kickass, another Batman, un autre Spiderman, an additional Superman, one more Wolverine – but in terms of anticipation the queen mother of them all is undoubtedly The Avengers which is due for release on May 4th, 2012. That kid who’s supposed to be watching the sheep is going to be a little horse. I wonder if he also knows a little german?
So, yeah – Hollywood’s current summer movie output is completely overwhelming. This year alone there are about 20 big-budget potential blockbusters shipping in a 4-month period. We have all of the aforementioned plus Harry Potter, Planet of the Apes, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Smurfs, Transformers… and I wouldn’t cross the street to see any of them. What about you – seen anything good so far?
Whilst Flying to and from Vancouver last week I decided to spend a little more time, via the seatback screen in front of me, with the NBC show Community. Talk about a captive audience – I’d have gone so far as to watch Scrubs if that’s all they’d had. Sure, Air Canada also offered Nurse Jackie and the BBC’s brilliantSherlock revival, but I’d already seen and loved every single episode of both those series. So it was either watch Community or switch over to the movie channel where i had the pick of the cinematic litter. If the pregnant dog in question had given birth to 27 French language films and the Green Hornet. So, yeah, Community won by a nose. Pinocchio’s nose.
A Talk Soup fan since the Kinnear era, I knew of Joel McHale so made sure to tune in two years ago when the Community pilot debuted – but hadn’t watched it since. Not that the show’s debut was bad. Far from it. It just wasn’t especially… memorable. My Attention drifted elsewhere (as it’s prone to do 246 times a day) and the halls of Greendale Community College were quickly forgotten. Eight days after my return from British Columbia I’m glad that, somewhere high over Kamloops, I was forced to re-enroll.
Over the last two years the show has come a very long way. It’s known for the simultaneously loveable and detestable characters, clever plotlines, recurring jokes, guest stars and overall silly style – to the point where Community has amassed, and is beloved to, a considerable cult following. The best example of this might be the now famous “Library Rap” where Abed and Troy bust a catchy rhyme en Español which was originally just intended as one of the short, standalone clips they feature at the end of every episode during the credits. Episode #2 in this case. It’s taken on a life of its own and probably been many people’s first introduction to the show.
“My name is T-Bone, the Disco Spider.”
The lyrics make a little more sense once you realize the almighty Ken Jeong plays their inept and quite possibly sociopathic Spanish teacher. Thanks to a skirmish with strep throat, and Netflix Instant, I’m now all the way through the first season – and incredibly impressed. My fruitfly-esque attention span held fast for the 25 episode duration and I’m about to dig in to season two.
Another reason I decided to kick the tires on Community one more time is the involvement of multi-talented Donald Glover. Last summer I read about and then saw a movie which I went on to word-of-mouth to anyone who would listen. To some of my older relatives’ chagrin those pressed violently into watching the hilarious Mystery Team included several cousins in the 11-14 age range. So That’s one way to get out of ever babysitting again. Since iPhone batteries last about as long as an Altoid, I’d better get right down to the summary.
Mystery Team (starring Glover who helped write, score and produce the flick at the kinda-sorta tender age of 27 if you’re looking for my point,) is a raunchy, yet refreshingly original, film about a collective of once-almost-famous boy detectives who are now seniors in high school. They’re stuck dwelling on the lost-hamster-finding and apple-pie-windowsill-theft-culprit-apprehending glories of yesteryear while being left behind and ridiculed by their peers, parents and basically anyone else who happens to cross their path. Exhibit A:
“Will work for Fruit Rollups.”
The opportunity to solve a murder arises and team leader Jason (Glover), inspires the others to forget about college admissions for one last summer and prove their detective skills to anyone who thinks they’re a complete joke – which is everyone. A fantastic premise put to film by Glover and the rest of his Derrick Comedy troupe who you’ll even see pop up in bit parts on Community now and then – It’s good to see he’s taking care of his boys. You’ll want to keep an eye on this guy – not to pat myself on the back, but to prove a point: the first time I saw Mystery Team I knew this kid was going to be a big star. Now he’s on a hit sitcom, has at least 2 big budget studio films in the pipeline and has recorded several actually-really-good rap albums and mixtapes as Childish Gambino. Color me impressed. And seek out Mystery Team.
So – that makes it all the more convenient that Glover, alongside Joel McHale and Chevy fricking Chase, is now one of the best things about Community. His character, Troy, is inseparable from Abed – a lovable East Indian with an inexhaustible font of movie and tv references who also suffers from Asperger’s. If you don’t already see the unbelievable potential for comedy in that last sentence alone, you’re in luck… as Scrubs is currently in syndication on more channels than my poor brain can fathom.
Let’s get back to Chevy for a second. He plays former moist towelette tycoon Pierce – an over-the-hill, racist, inappropriate and narcissistic buffoon who is only attending the college to… actually, it’s never quite explained. Chevy took a long show business hiatus after a disastrous foray into talk show hosting and I am beyond glad that he has another hit and won’t forever be remembered as wrapping up a great career with an embarrassing failure. Having said that, I’ve also just reminded everyone that he had a disastrous foray into talk show hosting and almost ended his career with a devastating defeat which comedians continue to beat to death to this day. Dammit, Dave – inside voice! Sorry, Chevy. I meant well and you’re the man. Again.
Wow – I’m all over the place today. Back to McHale again who plays main protagonist Jeff Winger, a self-absorbed, wiseacre and debarred lawyer who becomes the Spanish study group’s de facto leader. After 5 side-splitting Soup seasons he definitely deserved a shot at leading man status and plays the role to a ‘t’. His relationship with classmate Britta, played by Gillian Jacobs, is reminiscent of Sam and Diane to say the least – and Abed even references this fact specifically. But then, that’s what Abed does – he literally likens nearly every event in his life to a meta pop culture reference. Sounds eerily familiar…
In addition to the casting and my kindred spirit, Abed, what sets this show apart for me is it’s undeniable heart. Several years ago, during the heyday of Trailer Park Boys, I wrote very extensively about that show for the same reason. All of Community’s characters, from the sweet bible-thumper Shirley to the formerly Adderall-addicted Annie, care about each other deeply. It’s a strange and dysfunctional sitcom family for the ages and I’m a happy new fan.
Now then – I’ve taken up enough of your time and must bid you a fond ‘adieu’. I must also bid you "do yourself a favor and watch a few episodes of Community on Netflix". They’re only 22 minutes long, now that the commercials have been removed, and you’ll have a better weekend for it. On the off chance you don’t have Netflix Instant yet, there will be no "bidding" whatsoever. It’s only $9 a month and awesome. Pull your thumb out and sign up now.
Donald Trump finally fired Gary Busey on Celebrity Apprentice last night after getting it wrong last week and showing Mark McGrath the door. I bemoan the sad fact Busey wasn’t put out of his misery weeks ago, but not for the reasons you may assume. The man is not simply crazy – he was the victim of a massive head injury in 1988, not to mention a few additional contributing factors since, and the way he’s been paraded around and allowed to embarrass himself this long – on one of the most popular shows in the country – is reprehensible. What Ivanka calls "being a character" a physician might refer to as "early onset frontal lobe dementia". Either way, I’m relieved it’s now over and I’m going to do my part to fuel a little backlash.
When I first heard Busey would be among this season’s cast I was definitely very excited. I’ve been a fan since I saw The Buddy Holly Story on TV as a child. I wore holes in my Dad’s Crickets vinyl so when the movie came along I was sure to tape and re-watch it many times. My Dad seemed to like the actor, so I did too, and Busey received a Best Actor Oscar nomination in 1978 for his efforts. His body of work is impressive (A Star is Born, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Silver Bullet, Lethal Weapon) but how soon people have forgotten. Through little fault of his own he’s ended up the quintessential pop culture punchline – and it really isn’t funny anymore.
Gary Busey’s “best” Celebrity Apprentice moments.
To accept that an actor can transform from someone who can play a character as perfectly intense as Mr. Joshua to a babbling semi-psychotic in the course of 24 years and not have a serious health issue is ignorant. Busey isn’t acting anymore. Many on the men’s team seemed to acknowledge this and in the first few episodes, despite the challenges he presented, even the Busey-beleaguered Meatloaf remained respectful regardless of whether Gary was within earshot. By last night’s episode, however, the women’s team giggled at his every bizarre statement like they were back in grade school making fun of the slow kid who liked to rub the front of his pants at recess. Public figures and very well known celebrities “laughing at the retard” on national television like it was the most normal and acceptable thing imaginable. Did anyone really need another reason to revile Star Jones?
“Mr. Joshua – Your left arm, please.”
Trump loves him some Gary, and much to the chagrin of the rest of team “Backbone” that fact alone has saved his seemingly nutty ass on at least two prior occasions when he could have easily been shit-canned – while a much stronger player has been sacrificed instead (after John Rich and Marlee Matlin, McGrath was my favorite to win). The Donald seems painfully unaware of what takes place during the weekly tasks (and probably is) which is definitely why Busey has remained as long as he has. He’s unfocused, scattered, oblivious to any offense he happens to cause – such referring to Rich as “Boy” last night (thank God he didn’t do that to Little Jon or Busey-induced riots would currently be taking place in most major American cities) – and has otherwise been all hindrance and no help to his team during every single task. But what did the producers expect?
The truth is that they knew exactly what to expect and what the other contestants were in for. Recent Busey forays into popular culture such as the Comedy Central show “I’m with Busey”, Celebrity Rehab, the Larry the Cable Guy Roast, etc. should erase any doubt in our minds as to whether or not this man has a serious medical disability. His psyche has grown progressively more unstable over time (his 1991 turn as Officer Angelo Pappas in Point Break is one of his best roles and was filmed 4 years after his helmetless motorcycle accident,) and although that was probably a somewhat natural progression a quick online search informs us that prescription medication and a long post-injury dalliance with cocaine has probably helped the situation along considerably. He also mentioned on one episode of the Apprentice that he’d had operations for cancer which, I’m assuming, is what has led more recently to the uneven positioning of his right eye.
“Utah! Get me two!”
So what have we learned? He’s in bad shape and getting worse. Have a look at his demeanour and overall presence in this scene from the aforementioned “I’m With Busey” which was filmed just 8 years ago in 2003. When compared to his current vacant and emaciated condition on Celebrity Apprentice he looks like he’s aged about 2 decades since. I’m comfortable saying he is deteriorating faster than Pappas could wolf down a meatball sandwich:
Busey loves Dick.
That’s enough detail and deconstruction. My point is simple. Gary Busey isn’t crazy, wacky or purposefully colorful – he is quite obviously suffering from brain damage (likely his frontal lobe if I had to guess based on my own family’s experiences) brought on from a variety of ailments, addictions and accidents. I get a kick out of Donald Trump but I hope, after he watches these episodes back in their entirety, he has a few choice words for his producers (maybe even Busey’s own management) – or at least feels a little remorse for the way in which the man was shoved out on stage and made to look like some sort of two-bit carnival joke. Shameful. It would appear I’m the one who’s with Busey. Anyone else?
So many cool things pass through my field of vision on a daily basis, are “shared” quickly on Facebook and then subsequently lost to the ether, forever. That means it’s time for a new feature on Pye in the Face – a link list on Tuesdays. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…
Helmet-cam video from an insane urban downhill mountain bike in Chile. So, so cool. Watch for the dog that nearly gets smoked about 30 seconds in.
A one-time, 2 hour harmonica class in Boston for women only. May 16th at the BCAE taught by blues harpist and local performer Annie Raines and it’ll only run you $35.
Michael Shannon from Boardwalk Empire has been cast as General Zod in the latest Superman franchise reboot – and he’s frickin’ perfect.
Sasha Grey has retired from porn. Notable because no other adult star has ever made as many inroads into “legitimate” entertainment. Or violent anal.
Canadians reschedule Thursday’s French language election debate when they realize it’s also the first Boston/Montreal NHL playoff game. We have our priorities, budday!
When Chicks With Steve Buscemeyes ended up on CNN this morning, it officially ceased to be cool. Still, that doesn’t make it any less awesome and they had it before me.
I’m going to keep a running list as I progress through my weeks so future instalments will likely be longer/better. You get the point though, right? I mean, there’s only 562,240 other blogs also doing this. That’s me: pushing envelopes and setting trends. You’re welcome.
Editor’s Note: I fully realize that posting email forwards on your blog is the height of laziness – but this is profound and I have to share.
A little over halfway through my 30s it’s only natural that nostalgia, mortality and violent curmudgeonliness are setting in – which is probably why I’m drawn to these thoughts on how not all “progress” is… actually any sort of progress. I’ve edited this for length and into a list format which also deep-sixes some religious content. And I removed several negative references to movies, cable TV and video games – because that’s just fucking crazy talk. Apologies to the original author, but if you’re that annoyed are you any different from the whiny, lazy and entitled gluttons your original work indirectly bemoans? Let’s get down to the reminiscing…
To Those of Us Born Before 1980
First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
We were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes we had baseball caps, not helmets, on our heads.
As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes. Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren’t overweight. Why? Because we were always outside playing!
“And This is What We Call Progress”–by Montreal’s The Besnard Lakes
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were OK.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth – and there were no lawsuits from those accidents..
We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse.
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. In fact, they usually sided with the police.
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever. The past 50 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
What did you think? Seems thematically appropriate after my recent Chris Brown-related “what’s wrong with kids today?!” post [chases lost, crying infant off front lawn while wearing sandals with socks]. Should we wind the clock back on a few of these points? I look forward to your thoughts.
Preface: I’m not as mad at Chris Brown for beating the living daylights out of Rhianna as I am because he’s acting like it was no big deal and should be forgiven simply because 2 entire years have passed. That is a long time when you think about it. Maybe she was attacked by a Pterodactyl.
Chris Brown is sorta-talented, in a “Michael Jackson’s corpse isn’t even cold yet” kinda way. I’d give credit if credit were due – his recent SNL performances made me long for Sinead O’Connor’s pope-tearing technique. There’s a big talent pool out there and he’s no big whoop. It must suck when you lay low for a couple of years and no one even notices. Although I’m sure his P.O. was proud of him.
He’s also in possession of the humility of a peacock and definitely in serious denial as to the seriousness of the physical attack he launched on Rhianna. He’s not ducking half-assed domestic violence accusations from an unknown forlorn lover who hasn’t got the pictures to prove it. He beat one of the biggest stars in the world like she was a red-headed step child. A red-headed stepchild who’d just set fire to his Michael Jackson CD collection. His little episode at the Good Morning America studios today speaks volumes about Brown’s weak, narcissistic character and I absolutely cannot believe how well his album is selling (Currently #1 in iTunes). How soon we forget, people…
Exhibit A: Some randomly selected tweets from this evening:
Leave him alone? Who are we to judge? I’ll answer those questions with a question: What fucking planet are you kids on? I was speechless even before I realized that the vast majority of Tweets in support of Brown come from women – albeit young ones. And let’s not overlook the other above gem, “…that bitch provoked a lot of what happened.” That statement scares the heck out of me. Future of America, do you need a wee refresher?:
This isn’t even the worst of the photos, but I’m sure you’ve all seen them. Actually, after my little sojourn on Twitter tonight – I’m not sure at all. What the fuck is going on right now?
In my younger days I was jumped, kicked and beaten unconscious by a bunch of jerks at a party (in the interests of full disclosure, I might have knocked out their “leader” first) – and I looked better than Rhianna did after her final car ride with Brown. Remember when Mike Tyson punched Mitch Green, bare-knuckled, back in 1988? Ever see that picture? The damage to the man’s face is so bad it’s almost revolting – but it still seems like nothing when compared to Brown’s inflictions. By the way, that’s Mitch Green on the left. Not me. It’s OK. I get that a lot.
You’d think Brown’s record label would have a veritable army of publicists and temper coaches following this juvenile clown around. They mustn’t, however, because I’m sure that “frightening female staffers to the point they call security, ripping off one’s shirt and then smashing a dressing room window sending huge shards to the sidewalk below” probably aren’t featured tactics in the arsenal of many PR firms who have a client they’re trying to make the public at large forget is a merciless woman-beater [takes a deep breath]. I wish the youth of America had a memory as long as that sentence. At least I can take a little solace in this guy:
There are two types of men in this world, Chris. Those who hit women and those who don’t. You’ll likely be haunted by this to some degree for the rest of your life. You screwed up, big time, and showed the irrationally forgiving world what you’re capable of. I hope ABC bans you from their building after your little hissy fit today and cancels your scheduled appearance on DWTS next week. If the tantrums continue may many other networks/shows do the same. Resume the low-laying at your nearest possible convenience.
You have one hope… one option if you’re ever to be taken seriously again or redeemed in the eyes of anyone old enough to vote. And that is to simply answer people’s questions and accept responsibility for what you did for as long as it takes popular culture to let you off the hook (and apparently many already have). Someone else will batter the teeth out of their unfortunate girlfriend’s superstar face and the media will forget all about you. In the meantime, show a little humility. At the very least leave your shirt on, Bruce Banner.
What a strange story and stranger world we live in. Do you agree with my reluctance to simply forget about the violent actions of this this hugely influential role model? Or are you on Team Brown? Believe me when I say – I’d love to hear you explain why he should be forgiven so quickly and in spite of the fact he shows no signs of changing his violent, hair-trigger ways. Fascinated. Fire away. Just don’t hit any girls while you’re at it.
There’s always time during a busy day to help endorse a proposed plan to build a statue memorializing the main character of an uber-violent sci-fi movie I saw in a theater my Dad snuck me into in 1987. Always.
This video starring the law-enforcing cyborg himself, Peter Weller, is a slap-happy, nutty goof. The proposed plan to build a statue of RoboCop somewhere in downtown Detroit (where the truly awesome film and it’s far less awesome sequel are set) is not. Initially the Mayor said “no”. Then a surprising number of citizens countered with a resounding “yes”. Then a local businessman took it upon himself to raise $50,000 fricking dollars to see Officer Murphy’s titanium-encased remains immortalized for all time.
With both a healthy budget and positive public opinion behind the idea, which apparently started as a silly-natured Tweet, it’s not up to Mayor Bing anymore. But let’s get back to that businessman for a moment. I’ve since learned via his website, which just happens to be named after the evil corporation which first funds but eventually tries to kill Robocop in the film, that it isn’t his first foray into movie tie-ins.
”What did you do, Ray?!” – Dr. Peter Venkman
Also in Omni’s repertoire of phony products from movies made into the real thing for real world consumers?:
Stay Puft Marshmallows from Ghostbusters. Try not to think about them when facing a Gatekeeper of Gozer.
Brawndo Energy Drink from Mike Judge’s unsung Idiocracy.
Tru Blood beverage from HBO’s True Blood. In case that wasn’t abundantly clear.
Sex Panther cologne made famous, of course, by Mr. Brian Fantana in the modern comedy classic, Anchorman.
At first glance, raising money to build a statue of Robocop seems like Pete Hottelet’s nerdtastic labor of love. As I’m sure you’ve realized by now it’s also a brilliant viral marketing scheme. This probably isn’t the first you’ve heard of the statue – it’s been getting a ton of press over the last few weeks and I hope it happens. Because you can’t deny that fact that this actual prototype exudes class…
"Sign the petition or there’ll be… trouble."
It’s breathtaking, and I’d definitely buy that for a dollar. Though I can’t picture something like this happening in too many other cities – take Boston, for example. No matter how enthusiastically people tried to sell it to the population as “art” it would fly about as far as one of those bronze ducklings. But we’re talking about Detroit here. A place where statues of fictional robotic peace officers, lesser-known Norwegian superheroes and maybe even one (possibly all four) of the Teletubbies will almost certainly raise property values. I don’t have anything against Detroit… I’ve just seen pictures. And that picture was 8 Mile.
This is one of the best tunes I’ve ever heard. Period. I absolutely love it. It has been on my “must blog” list since the first time I came across it 6 months ago. Lack of the baseline for more than a week sends me into a sweaty withdrawal and the late-arriving chorus is sung aloud in my house on a daily basis. My appreciation is so all-encompassing that I almost feel like further explanation isn’t necessary. Get the picture? I’ll put my pants back on. Just listen…
It’s Not Meant to Be, the opening track, has son-of-Stone Roses written over its sun-dappled, almost drawling psychedelia that lolls about and lets the whammy-bar guitar prod its warm form. This is an afternoon song. – Sydney Morning Herald
Quite possibly the best Australian song, ever.
Tame Impala hail from Perth, Australia. They’re a brash young bunch of longhairs and the remarkable music they produce in between fish bowling studio booths is commonly called “psychedelic” or “trippy”. People used to say that the Madchester music scene of the late eighties/early nineties was trippy, but that was largely due to the Everest-sized mountain of drugs everyone was taking. This is a different animal. This is… an Impala.
Were you alone in a dark room with lead singer Kevin Parker, and you asked him to sing, and he could actually oblige because a ballgag wasn’t also part of your weird little fantasy – you’d think you were sitting beside… Let me start over: he sounds exactly like John Lennon. He’s not trying to, so it shouldn’t ruin the experience… Just be forewarned. It’s really just a pleasant coincidence considering the Beatles’ own hallucinogenic get-the-spiders-off-me phase produced their best work.
Emo Hoodoo Gurus
Their debut album, Innerspeaker, is full of gems and was apparently recorded in a shed several hours outside of Perth. Although “It’s Not Meant to Be” is still my favorite, it was also a gateway to “I Don’t Really Mind”, “Solitude is Bliss” and “Make Up Your Mind”. Do these boys ever love singing about minds. And using contractions.
"Innerspeaker" is what The Beatles would sound like if they took EVEN MORE drugs with a dash of Led Zeppelin and Cream. The albums nostalgic lo-fi spaced out psychedelia, while nothing groundbreaking, does a lot of things pitch-perfectly right. – SputnikMusic.com
I have linked the aforementioned songs to YouTube videos for your easy and free listening. I’ll be in attendance when they play Toronto on May 1st and I can’t say enough good things about this record. Let’s hope they stick around a little longer than Silverchair.
Friends, Romans, countrymen. Listen to me very carefully. I was just directed towards a truly awful rumor by my favorite movie blog. Are you sitting down? I mean it. Take a seat, a deep breath and possibly a Xanax before reading any further.
Rumors of Ghostbusters 3 have been as persistent as rumors about the existence of actual ghosts. And now there’s evidence for an even scarier notion: Ashton Kutcher playing one of the leads.
We, as rational human beings and children of the 80s, can never let this happen. Never. Now, I’m not a radical, a bra-burner or one prone to protest. Until my mid-twenties, I thought that “activism” was the company who brought us Pitfall and River Raid. But I’ve got a petition on the brain. Petitions got Betty White on SNL, Jonathan Winters exposed to a new generation of unworthy fans and they can do wonders for a third ancient and long-suffering throwback – the Ghostbusters franchise. And by “do wonders” I of course mean “keep an already risky venture from becoming a guaranteed cinematic disaster the likes of Ishtar or Howard the Duck”.
Editor’s Note: I am a fan of both Ishtar and Howard the Duck. That doesn’t change the fact they shat the bed at the box office and are readily accepted by sheep who’ve never seen them as two of the worst movies of all time. Back to our regularly scheduled nerdery…
I’m not going to try and act cool or pretend I’m kidding anyone who knows me. I’d love to see a new Ghostbusters film and I’ve even written about it before. It’s going to happen, with or without Bill Murray, and I do not want to see it fail. According to IMDB, some returning stars are already confirmed (Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis) and there are rumors of several exciting new additions (Bill Hader, Anna Faris). And, even though I’m disgusted, concerned and hyperventilating as a result of his Kutcher-related comments in the video above (as playful as they may have seemed), original director Ivan Reitman seems gung-ho for a return to Ghostly glory.
Mr. Reitman, please. Kutcher’s already demonstrated a penchant for dating marrying women dramatically older than himself. Don’t encourage him to whip out his proton pack and take it one sick step further. Busting ghosts might lead to banging them.
I’ll be watching this production carefully, folks. So you don’t have to. Because you have lives. Stay tuned for what might be my biggest topical dork-fest since the leadup to summer 2008’s return of a certain archaeologist. Dare to dream. Alone in bed.
Most reviews I’ve read of Don Lennon albums, or articles about the man himself, begin the same way – by comparing his sound to someone else. I get the Jonathan Richman references and I understand the inevitable likening to Stephin Merritt. I refute, however, the notion that Jens Lekman is an influence on Lennon – I’m quite certain it’s the other way around.
Maniac came out in 1997, 6 years before Lekman’s first EP. Don has maintained a strong Swedish following for over a decade. It doesn’t take Sam Spade to connect those dots. Where am I going with this… Released last week, Nick and Mary is Don’s 6th studio album and I pray the day will soon come when the music press stop obsessing over peripheral similarities and inaccurate influencers because they’re doing their readers a disservice. They’re denying them some Don.
More specifically, the incessant comparisons do little but downplay 15 years of consistently outstanding and unique output. You’re no longer coming off clever by discussing parallels to other musicians which have already been done to death. With a new album will come a new crop of reviews/articles and I pray this time around Don’s exceptional new album is judged on its merits and not its Merritts. See what I did there?
Nick and Mary is a double album featuring 24 songs in total. Although I’ve listened to it 4 times all the way through as of this writing, I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. One of my early favorites is “Months”, and I put together a YouTube clip so you can enjoy it easily below. I do want to share amazing music with my readers. I do not wish to go to jail for hosting MP3s or have Don pissed at me. This seemed like a good compromise:
”The months, they freak us out.”
Fat-sounding guitar chords kick the song off rather suddenly and were what first caught my ear, helping me make the difficult choice of which of the 24 tunes to feature on Wadio. I could just have easily gone with Rats!,Naked in Public, Bedbugs or Kids at Pearl River Mart – the album is rich with Don’s amazing knack for the catchy, subtle humor, blissfully-jangly guitars and superior songcraft. This LP will be with me for a good long while.
Don’s equally impressive back catalogue is available on iTunes, and you can purchase Nick and Mary from DonLennon.com. Let me know what you think about this song and all things DL related in the comments.