Monday, March 29, 2010

Birthdays, slaughtered sheep, & Milwaukee

After sending a quick birthday note to my friend Niki I got this reply:

Subject: Re: Yoyoyo
Thanks dude, will be celebrating my bday tomorrow (so very close though, you were!) in lovely Afghanistan. Big rager planned, complete with juice and a slaughtered sheep. I know, you wish you could be here to join in the fun. Next year, I promise.
- Niki

...meanwhile I'm flying to Milwaukee today. It is equally desolate and without traditional Western laws and social mores.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Russia cut 2 time zones today...

Fuck they are catching up to us.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sons of Ben

So I was watching the MLS opener day before yesterdayw with the Seattle Sounders and the new Philadelphia Union and noticed how there was a strong section of supporters from Philly called the Sons of Ben. They flew cross-country to watch the first game of Philly's existence.

I then did a little research on them and their origins, etc, etc (a nice Wikipedia read as all "research" is these days) and stumbled THIS little gem of an article. It's an article in 2007 (before the Union were a team) by an English reporter on the grassroots soccer fan movement in the US. Here's an excerpt:
...the Sons of Ben... are fans of Philly's Major League Soccer team. But Philadelphia doesn't yet have an MLS team. Which is to say that, despite having scarves, songs, chants, replica shirts and flags, they're fans of a team that doesn't yet exist. It's almost as if - in the manner of the South Sea cargo cultists - they're trying to will a Philly team into existence. They even organise trips to New York Red Bulls games, just so they can boo them. How hardcore is that?...

...Sons of Ben are following in the noisy, irreverent, chaotic footsteps of the Chivas Legion Kalifas (Chivas USA), the Galaxians and Riot Squad (both LA Galaxy), Screaming Eagles and La Barra Brava (both DC United), Empire Supporters Club and Raging Bull Nation (both New York Red Bulls), and Section 8 Chicago (Chicago Fire). And, of course, the national team's Uncle Sam's Army who chanted, at a friendly against England: "We've got dentists!"
Brilliant!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Namaste America, the rainforests, and James Earl Jones

Have we solved the problem with the rainforests yet? I mean it hasn't been on the news for a while, so I'm pretty sure it's done. All the fires have been put out I suppose

As a kid my brother and I were forced by our parents to watch Indian TV programming on Saturday mornings. The most prominent show, which still runs today, was/is "Namaste America." Basically it was a medley of Bollywood movie clips, songs, and random interviews. Real quality programming.

But it was was the commercials that were really pure 100% Colombian awesome. Disco shit. It was a weird array of public access-esque quality commercials for Indian grocery and jewelry stores were these commercials for this rainforest preservation foundation. Providing the narration over visuals of rainforest and fires was James Earl Jones. Along with deforestation facts and whatnot the trademark moment was him trying to spur the listening audience to action by saying "It's time to stop the burning!

Moving stuff.

The thing I never understood was what kinda dipshit at the rainforest foundation thought it would be a good use of the advertising budget to capture the Saturday-morning-Indian demographic? Indians don't care about rainforests. They barely even tip the socially acceptable 15% at most meals.

I wouldn't be surprised if the rainforests were destroyed BECAUSE of these commercials. Instead of convincing Americans to take action, millions of advertising dollars were wasted as thousands of Indians saw the non-Indo-centric commercials and felt it was a good opportunity to run to the kitchen and get seconds on freshly made samosas.


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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

and I raaaan, I ran so far awaaay

When the Smashing Pumpking proclaimed after the MTV Music Awards way back when that "rock is dead" they were.... how shall we say... a bit off. But at the time electronica was trendy (think Prodigy) and the regular guitar-bass-drum-singer rock was not in vogue.

There will always be a room for regular rock, just as pop, new wave will keep on re-emerging in the continuous music cycle. What's interesting though is the context in which they re-emerge. When new wave first appeared in the early 80s it was.... well... new, almost futuristic sounding in the sense that technology was liberally used. Synthesizers, guitars that had altered sounds... this was a fresh sound.

But when you listen to the Killers last album "Day & Age" you hear the same type of sounds...but the context of the music is to almost hearken back to a simpler time. Synthesizers are simple. It's almost meant to be nostalgic.

What's the point? Well it's nothing groundbreaking. But next time you hear a song/band that sounds like something old, just remember that it's funny how the emotions it's supposed to illicit can be "new" because it's a totally different context.

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