Too verbose to tweet
OR: Daniel Andriano knows it

So, I recently rediscovered this jam from my formative years. It's sat dormant in my mp3 collection, being transfered from iPod to iPod as technology's planned obsolescence took it's course over the years, but I hadn't played it in a long time. I popped into my head the other day, as forgotten songs are often wont to do, and I wasn't even sure if I still had it, but sure enough, there it was. A neglected digital file, backed up and transfered too many times to count.

Now, I'm not sure my exact thoughts on the song before, other than I liked it, but as I listened this time, something was different. I don't know if I was simply analyzing more, or if the interim years have forged perspective on the song's themes, but this particular listen caught me off guard.

I was going to tweet about it, but upon trying, I found that what I wanted to say about the song in question appeared to be too much to contain within a 140 character bubble. I like Twitter for short, spontaneous bursts of entertainment, but I almost feel like it's being overused, and over-lauded. I feel like, for better or for worse, Twitter is driving people away from writing blogs. There are pros and cons to that; some most blogs are terrible and need to just get to the point, but on the other hand, some ideas cannot be explored within 140 characters.

So, here's my unedited tweet, all +76 characters of it:
"Anyone who's ever found themselves in the awkward and easily criticized position of being mildly infatuated with someone they know they'll probably never even meet, should know Ozma's "Natalie Portman". Brilliant Jam."
and here's the song in question...


Top Tens!
OR: A grand OCD tradition of compulsively ranking things....

1. Bomb the Music Industry! - Scrambles (You have to come pretty correct in order to best a Green Day offering, and this album did)
2. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown
3. Felt - Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez
4. NOFX - Coaster/Cokie the Clown
5. get-up kids - The Daytrotter Sessions EP (Kind of cheating, but...)
6. POS - Never Better
7. Raekwon - Only Built for Cuban Linx II
8. Tegan & Sara - Sainthood
9. MF Doom - Born Like This
10. Lonely Island - Incredibad

Best "Best of": Pinhead Gunpowder - Kick Over the Traces
Biggest Disappointment - Rancid - Let the Dominos Fall

Anticipated: Get Up Kids, The Invincibles, Joey Cape, Lifetime 7", Dr. Dre's Detox

1. Inglorious Basterds
2. Where the Wild Things Are
3. UP
4. Big Fan
5. Disctrict 9
6. Adventureland
7. I love you, man
8. Hangover
9. Zombieland
10. Invention of Lying

Anticipated: Iron Man 2, Jackass 3(-D), Couple of Dicks (AKA Cop Out), Kick-Ass, Get Him to the Greek, new Muppets


OR: Kurt got Melvined, and not by Death

It's long been my belief that Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey is a totally under-rated sequel. I truly feel like it's superior to it's predecessor, Like T2 was to Terminator, Or Dark Knight was to every other movie ever made. You get a young Alex Winter and a pre-Point Break Keeanu Reeves, with all the silliness and amusing characters as "Excellent Adventure", but with none of that history paper shenanigans that felt like they were trying to shoehorn in book learning into it. "Bogus Journey" takes our (inferred) stoner duo to Purgatory, Heaven, and encounters with Aliens, Death and no less than 4 different pairs of Bill and Teds. Sure, that "Station" thing was kind of bullshit, but BATBJ (whoa! Bat-BJ!) has many good ideas that really captured my imagination as a boy.
Most of all, the idea of "Personalized Hell".

Now, I'm not a religious man by any stretch, but I've often thought about what my personalized hell would consist of. For Bill & Ted is was drill Sargents, deranged easter bunnies and hairy lipped grandmas. Maybe in mine I'd be the main course of a thanksgiving celebration between all my ex's, unable to move of communicate, while they all quite vocally commiserate over what an asshole I am while tearing me apart and eating me? Maybe I'm stuck in a room with 10,000 cell phone users and all I want to do is finish a book?

Or maybe I'd think I was in Heaven, and had gained admission to a show of a band I always loved but never got a chance to see. Like the Ramones or Nirvana. Let's say Nirvana. Kurt would get up on stage, still alive and 27, exactly how you'd picture him. He'd approach the mic to sing, and as soon as he was about to let out his first word....Jon Bon Jovi's poofy whine would come out! Almost as if he was merely a puppet, unable to control his own body or voice. Flava Flav's voice would be next, and then that crying pussy Dave Mustaine, or that treasure troll looking guy who married Avril Lavigne.

Come to think of it....it would look exactly like this:

By now, many of us have seen Kurt Cobain playing hype-man to Chuck D, or belting out "You give love a bad name" like he means it. For anyone who was ever a fan of Nirvana or what they represented, it's pretty horrific. Having him appear in the game isn't necessarily a bad thing, look no further than the largely tasteful usage of The Beatles in their recently released Rock Band game for proof that in CAN be done right. But I think it's pretty apparent to anyone who can see the above video that having Kurt Cobain be an unlockable character, with the ability to participate in every song is a fumble of epic proportions.

So who's to blame? Many would point the finger at Courtney Love, and that's never a bad place to start in situations such as these. After all, she's in charge of Cobain's estate and thus would have to sign off on using his likeness (as I understand it, Her, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic have equal ownership of Nirvana music, however the estate is hers, and likeness rights would be in her jurisdiction). Is it Activision, the gamemaker's fault for not being more sensitive to the legacies or reputations of the musicians they're using to sell their games? Perhaps, but Activision in the business of just that, selling games. If exploiting memories of a beloved musician is going to aid in that, then they're only doing their jobs. One could argue that all Activision did was present players with a playable Kurt Cobain, and what they chose to do with it is up to them. After all, You don't HAVE to play as Kurt for non-Nirvana songs, and if the option to do so was a concern maybe ol' Courney Love-Cobain (ever notice the "Cobain" is only ever added for emphasis when dealing with Nirvana related business? It's like an exclamation point...) should've read over the contracts before signing them. You'd never see Paul McCartney and John Lennon tag-teaming a Megadeth song along side cartoon characters, and for good reason - they have an iron clad team of professionals working to preserve their respective estates, and poor Kurt has, well...Courtney Love(-Cobain!) to tend to his.

The fact that she's now trying to sue Activision, after the fact, is pretty ridiculous. Sure, Activision are facilitating besmerchment, but that's not a crime. I mean, You don't need a video game to make Kurt Cobain look foolish if you really want to. All you need is an imagination, and no matter how hard she tries, Courtney Love cannot sue your imagination.

Like look, Here's Kurt Cobain LITTERING.

Hows that? That do anything for ya? Well, how about this - Here's Kurt Cobain knocking over a child's snowman. Such a dick move!

I think the bottom line is: Just because you can make Kurt Cobain sing and emote like Gavin Rossdale doesn't mean you should. I don't know if it's as a result of the internet, or if the internet is just bringing a preexisting facet of the human condition more out in the open, but the Can/Should ratio in people's common sense is starting to get seriously warped.

Hey!....Here's Ghandi kicking a baby!!


I'm onto you, Hollywood.
OR: Ashlee Simpson-Wentz's Maternity style!!!!1

I just got finished watching the delightful indie (if not indie-styled) film "Away We Go" starring former SNLer and Rental Maya Rudolf, playing a 30-something expectant mother. Opposite her is the guy who plays the "Tim" Character on the US version of the Office ("Jim"), John Krasinski as her quirky (but not in an trite indie film kind of way) but overall likable boyfriend. It was very capably written by Dave Eggers of "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" fame (who also co-wrote the upcoming pant-crappingly awesome looking "Where the wild things Are") and his wife.

I found the film really enjoyable. Both leads give strong performances, and smaller standout roles from Alison Janney and Maggie Gyllenhaal are particularly well done. It was able to hit that hard to reach balance, like Juno before it, between being laugh out loud funny but also really touching and sweet.

But it got me to thinking...many of my favorite films of the past few years, from the aforementioned Juno to Knocked Up (the "36 Chambers" of Apatow films) and now this one all seem to have a common theme: Fashionable young go-getters getting accidentally pregnant and keeping the child.

Does Hollywood secretly fear that there aren't enough young hipsters breeding? Do indie film makers fear that if they're not diligent, in a single generation their genre's entire demographic could be wiped out? Was Mike Judge's fabulous "Idiocracy" sabotaged by Hollywood for hitting this concept too on the nose? Is there a conspiracy to make Pregnancy hip? Will Urban outfitters soon sprout maternity departments?

Well, hate to let you down, secret shadowy Hollywood overlords, but I know one person your little plot will not be working on: Me.

I'm not going to be the second lead character who hears of his entire life being flushed down a toilet and reacts quirkily, or with hilarious flippantness. I've learned a lot from movies; I never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line, and I never turn around to look when things explode behind me, but this is where I draw the line. My foot is down. I absolutely refuse. Sure, it may look like one of life's madcap adventures in the movies, but in real life it sounds downright horrifying to me.

If a some sort of supernatural magic entity, like a Genie, or Cris Angel (that douche) came to me and said I had a choice between being told that I'm responsible for a baby, OR that 1 random night in the next calender month, my house would be violently invaded, you know what I would do? I'd go out the next day and buy a high quality baseball bat, and a couple feet of barbed wire. I'd wrap the barbed wire around the tip of the bat, keep it close by. Then, I would sleep soundly for the next 30 days with the calming reassurance that within a month everything will be back to normal.

Here's an artists rendering:

You heard it here first: 2 minutes of frightened bat assault far outweighs raising a child.


Just something I heard recently...
OR: Prove that this isn't factual.

Hey, did any of you heard that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990?
Apparently Glenn Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990.

I mean, OK, I guess it's just a rumor that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990, but Glenn Beck has yet to come out and prove to the world that he didn't rape and murder a girl in 1990, so I'm inclined to believe that Glenn Beck, did indeed rape and murder a girl in 1990.

More as this develops...


For YOU! OR: humbled, but back intact.

In a fairly recent episode of SMODcast, Kevin Smith and guest host Macolm Ingram, a local Torontonain film maker and bear, were dicussing Malcolm's disapproval of the "Biforcated cock community" (Kevin's words) and what Kevin percieved as in-fighting, from one sexual minority towards another. Malcolm argued that it was like NAMBLA wanting to march in the gay pride parade-He didn't want them waving his flag, for him to be under their umbrella. An understandable argument, and one that was one of my first thoughts when approaching the Metro Toronto Convention centre, for this years Comic Con Fan Expo. Just as not all sexual fetishes are equal, neither are all nerds, and the more fuzzy bear ears and make-up I saw, the less felt comfortable being under that umbrella.

I've been going to the comic con for years. Back when it actually WAS called the Toronto Comic Con. Then HobbyStar marketing, the event organizers, decided quite literally to put all their eggs in one basket, combining the Comic, Gaming, Horror, Sci-Fi and (*sigh*) Manga events into one, and rechristening it the "Fan Expo". It brings out a lot more people, and it means you can catch a glimpse of the Soup Nazi charging money for autographs on your way to the bathroom. Some of the costumes are pretty cool, but for every hot girl dressed as Supergirl, or shockingly accurate Ghostbuster you see, theres about 20 pale basement dwellers dressed as obscure final fantasy characters. By entering the convention floor, Hobbystar has basically entered you into an enviroment where you and this guy are peers. Contemporaries. Ugh.

But, apart from the occasional bout of self righteousness, having to say "paaaaaar-don me" as you inch past someone with a gigantic cardboard n' tinfoil sword, and having to deal with comic book guys*, the convention is a good time for a guy like me. Free junk, cheap(er) comics, earthy aromas, what's not to like?

Oh, and I almost got into an altercation with 80s Wrestler "The Iron Sheik".

The Comic Con/Fan expo has this weird effect, where even if you've been there for 3 hours, you'll still turn around a corner and see an entire row that you missed. One such turn, landed me 2 feet away the aforementioned Hulk Hogan rival and symbol of 1980s Iranophobia, Mr. Sheik. Sitting next to him was fellow 80s wrestler, Elvis look-alike and challenging video game character, the "Honky Tonk Man". Taken aback, I continued to walk past both gentlemen, before turning around to snap a candid photo of the two doing their thing. A souvenir of my chance encounter. It was at this point that several shouting men descended upon me. Evidently, taking a photo was not a good idea. Before I knew it 3 guys had circled me. One guy would shout something and the Another guy would repeat what the first guy shouted. It was like if Chuck D. and Flavor Flav were circus carnies.

"Get a Picture!"
"Let me take your bag"
"He's a Legend!"

They were grabbing at my bag and nudging me in the direction of Iron Sheik. Iron Sheik, who had been mid-pitch to someone else at the time ("You want picture with me and that fucking gay faggot Hulk Hogan?"), stopped his pitch and looked at me menacingly. Honky Tonk Man, taking a cue from Sheik, did the same. So now I'm 2 feet away from a couple of 80s wrestlers giving me the stare-down with 3 of their handlers poking and prodding me into taking a $25 photo.
"uh, no, no thank you, sorry, no thanks, sorry, I'm set thanks, no thanks" and I got the fuck out of there. I mean, it's not to say that I thought that Iron Sheik was going to get me in the Camel Clutch and make me humble, but I've never been one for hard sell situations, and this was about as hard sell as it comes.

Remember that scene in "The Wrestler" where Randy "The Ram" Robinson is working a small town wrestling convention in a school gym, and there's barely anyone there? Just a bunch of injured old wrestlers selling DVDs and 8x10s? It was really sad wasn't it? That memorable scene is now the African child with bugs on his face of the wrestling community. "These men took slams for years...for YOU, and now you can pay them back right now!" I heard one of the shouters say to the crowd. It's funny, because I didn't realize I currently owed a debt to professional wrestlers. I was under the impression they were doing it of their own accord and were making at-worst a comfortable living in their day. Had I known the couple hours of wrestling I was able to sneak past my parents would come back as money owed, 20 years later at a place I went to buy comic books, I wouldn't have tuned in.
What's next? "Patrick Duffy publicly humiliated himself pretending to be sexually attracted to Suzanne Somers for YOU!! Pay him back!!" while I'm at the Post Office?
Granted, the fact that I attempted to take a free picture of the pair means I clearly had a perverse interest, but I don't think vague interest should equal monetary obligation.

* By "Comic book guys" I don't mean the noble comic enthusiast/collector/etc. I'm of course referring to the admittedly dying breed that is the comic book retail guys, as perfectly encompassed on The Simpsons. The kind of greedy, mean spirited businessmen that can convince themselves that any single issue of a modern comic is worth over a hundred dollars, and that charging US cover price is a limited time convention deal-of-the-century. May they one day be crushed under the weight of their chromium halo-foil variant covers and Magic: The Gathering cards.


Felt 3 Update!!
OR: I don't mean to toot my own horn, but...

Did I not say?
I don't mean to toot my own horn, but did I not say?

Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez.
Produced by Aesop Rock.

I called it.

ps. This will be my last post on the subject, at least 'till the album drops, as I don't want to come off as a Rhymesayers street teamer or something, this is just something I'm really excited about hearing. The preview single is, in the parlence of Kevin Federline circa 2004, "The Fire".
In case you missed my hotlink the first time, Cop it HERE.


The Worst!
Or: the "in the theatre" part is accounting for "Last Days".

On this, the evening I will experience a new film by Quentin Tarantino, the man who has crafted some of my very favorite films, I will tell you the story of one that's not only polar opposite, but also timely as it's recently reared it's ugly head. Simply put: The worst movie I've ever seen in a movie theatre.

It was a more innocent time, the summer of 2008. This very blog was in it's infancy, The democrats were deciding between a charismatic black man and a shrewish old harpie in a pant-suit, and the world had become enamored with a young, well fed Michael Phelps. I was wandering around the ScotiaBank Theatre Paramount, I believe there to make use of their bathroom facilities on one of my many marathon walks, when a woman approached me with a clipboard. I don't remember what her exact pitch was, but it was something to the effect of "Do you like these movies" and on her clipboard read the following:

Knocked Up
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Wedding Crashers
Napoleon Dynamite

and a few more. I liked all of these movies*. I believe she also asked me if I liked Micheal Madsen. "Sure, who doesn't?" She then offered me free tickets to a test screening of a new Michael Madsen comedy, thats stylistically in the same vein as the movies listed on the sheet.
Sounds awesome, right?

A couple weeks later, we arrived in a timely fashion as part of a completely packed audience. Evidently, there are a lot of people out there who like the idea of a free movie. What I also noticed was the variety of demographics represented. I even noticed a cute elderly couple, in their 80s if a day, a couple of rows behind us. We were all ready for a good time at the movies.

The movie we saw was called "You might as well live". It centers around a completely unlikable character named Robert Mutt, whom I'm sure the writers thought would come off as endearing a la Napoleon Dynamite, but ends up just being loathsome. Michael Madsen's character, a bit-part at best, is Clinton Manitoba a childhood hero of Mutt's, who doesn't show up till 2/3rds into the movie. The movie takes Mutt from a mental ward, to an S&M party, to being a drug mule, and many other over the top situations all on a journey to "be somebody". Highlights include gratuitous penis shots, and watching Robert Mutt take a shit into a tire. The gross-out humor fell so flat, I found myself feeling embarrassed for the elderly couple who had been duped into watching it.

When the credits rolled and the lights came up, I noticed something; Of the 300 capacity theatre, about 40 people remained till the end of the movie and received comment cards.

Theres a moment in the overlooked film "What Just Happened?" where a film producer played by Robert DeNiro, looks over the comment cards from a test screening, and to his shock the comments are uniformly, aggressively negative. About 45 minutes into this movie, I knew the only reason I was staying was to do my part as a test audience member, and the rip this movie apart on my comment card, for the betterment of mankind.

When the time came, I ripped it a new asshole, and while feeling that I had wasted 2 hours, I left content that at least that terrible movie will never see the light of day.

Cut to last week, when while walking to work, I noticed this looking me in the face...

It took them over a year, but it looks like it's actually coming out.

Long story short: Avoid this movie like an STD. You've been warned.

* Napoleon Dynamite to a much lesser extent than the rest. In fairness, it's due to factors having nothing much to do with the initial watching experience. The film itself is quirky and funny, but the amount of people immitating the character (see also:Austin Powers, Ace Ventura & Borat), and the amount of film makers who think a few quirky characters and a hand-writing font makes a good movie (and the studios that fund them) have soured my overall opinion of it.