Saturday, October 16, 2010

Go To Comeuppance Reviews!

I probably won't be writing in this blog anymore, but the good news is that I am now pouring all my energies into Comeuppance Reviews! It's a great site devoted to action movies, so please check it out:


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Originality Is Overrated

As someone with an extensive background in listening to, and playing, music, I would just like to give my opinion on the concept of originality in the music world.

To my way of thinking, originality doesn't rank very high on things that I look for in my enjoyment of music. I wouldn't want to hear something that is totally original, if such a thing is possible. It would probably sound like some abstract noise with some bleeps and bloops or something like that. To me, that is very boring although I guess some people like it. It probably wouldn't be melodic in a classic way, which is an interesting concept - why couldn't so-called "futuristic" or radically original music be melodic, like in a powerpop vein? Maybe it's because there are only so many notes to work with, and arranging them in a melodic way would be considered "old fashioned"? Who knows...

It's all about taking the elements of the past, and doing it well. Taking guitars, vocals, bass, drums and keyboards, among other possible instruments, that we've all heard countless times before, and recycling it in a way that is good, competent, energetic, and to go the extra mile, fresh or even witty.

Take a band like the Datsuns. There is nothing "original" about them, but so what? Who cares? They are a great band! Not striving to be original shouldn't automatically exclude you from being great. Anyone who writes off the Datsuns as being "derivative" and moves on with their life is totally missing the point, not to mention being a big jerk. Other great bands I can think of offhand that fit the template of being great, but not original include Kula Shaker, The Darkness, or perhaps Mando Diao. Interestingly enough, none of the bands I mentioned are American.
Europeans seem to have a unique way of taking something American, even something we sort of lost interest in, and making it seem new and fresh again.

The Datsuns
The Datsuns

Kula Shaker

Let me just say that not being original isn't some ticket to greatness. Simply copying the cliches of the past in an unengaging way won't buy you any points. Actually a vast majority of bands do this I think. Simply copying is no good. It's all in HOW you do it. Just blindly striving for some vague notion of "originality" is the wrong approach, and seeking to be original just for its own sake will inevitably lead you down the wrong road, into boredom and cliches, exactly the place you supposedly were running from.

So, in conclusion...I guess it's all in the execution.

Friday, November 13, 2009

On the Pointlessness of Professional Sports

So a team with a green uniform plays a game against a team with a blue uniform. Surely fans of watching professional sporting events know that sometimes teams win, and sometimes teams lose. They must know this going in. But they act so surprised and devastated when "their" team loses. They act like it is an impossibility that they did not previously consider possible.

So a bunch of grown men throw a ball around for a period of time and are lauded as heroes. So much so that these intellectual titans are simply given millions and millions of dollars a year. To PLAY A GAME. They make millions of dollars A YEAR, not a one-shot deal, A YEAR - to play a game. Why?

Perhaps it is because sports fans project their hopes and dreams on to these men as they play their sport. Perhaps they subconsciously imagine it is THEM playing the game, thus temporarily taking them on a fantasy that takes them away from their dreary, depressing existence while the game is going on. Inevitably, this becomes addictive because naturally they don't want to go back to their pathetic life, so they stay invested in a team of lunkheaded criminals as a spoonful of sugar to help the unabashed bitterness of their life go down.

And that is how our vaunted, neo-Olympian Gods can get away with running people over with their cars, carrying guns in public places, and torturing animals, among other crimes. Because they help people escape how much life sucks. Never mind that they have never created anything of value, i.e. a product or service which we might find valuable, never mind they have never created anything of artistic value, such as a painting, novel or film, never mind they have never contributed to the betterment of life as we know it in any tangible form, still they get paid millions of dollars and get free passes for their transgressions to play a game that makes the people that watch the game feel better about life, acting as a sort of crutch.

From the college level, on through to their professional "career", these idiotic sportsmen get a myriad of privileges, breaks, shortcuts and bonuses that the average person does not get. Their lives, as a result, are easier and more lavish than the average fan. From the fact that they don't have to do their own schoolwork, to the endless supply of groupies and everything in between, it's good to be a moron if you can throw a ball.

So what we have is a sort of symbiotic relationship between the fan, who roots for the blue team though they cannot explain why, and the high-paid, idiotic criminal who plays a game for a living and expects to be treated like King Menelaus.

So fans will paint their bodies and stand in freezing cold weather, and dress up in ridiculous costumes and riot in the streets when "their team" loses, because due to some mental lack, they have invested their hopes and dreams into a bunch of belligerent, inarticulate goons who couldn't care less about them.

Musicians, artists, teachers, painters, filmmakers, scientists, AIDS researchers, mathematicians, professors, novelists, poets, historians, archivists, astronauts, and all your kith and kin shut up and please stop endeavoring to touch some part of the human condition, there's a game on tonight.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Watch Red Eye on Fox News!


"Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld" is a brilliant, original, funny and informative show that airs on Fox News at 3 AM Eastern time. (5 PM in Jakarta - one of their in-jokes...the good thing about the show is that if you watch regularly, you are in on the in-jokes so not only do you not feel left out, you feel included as a friend).

They tackle the news stories of the day, both serious and wacky, in a panel discussion format. Greg leads the discussion, the much-maligned, possibly with good cause, Bill Schultz sits at the table and provides a liberal standpoint and comments in questionable taste and of questionable wit, and Andy Levy is the glue that holds it all together with his pre-game, halftime report, and postgame wrap-up segments.


Also along for the ride are 3-4 rotating regular guests as well as newcomers, favoring different attractive women, politicians, comedians, musicians and other friends. What other show could give you a split-screen with Andrew W.K. and Gwar's Oderus Urungus (not to mention Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, who I think, besides his droll demeanor, they only have on the show because of his amazing name), discussing the news issues of the day? For the juxtaposition of guests alone, Red Eye should be recognized.

However, it's not all candy and unicorns. There is a bad segment where viewers leave voicemail messages for Greg. ALL of them start like this: (read in a zonked out, stoned voice): "Gre-e-e-e-e-e-ggggggggg...." The problem with this segment is, I don't want content powered by viewers, I want show content provided by Greg, Bill and Andy. Or at least Greg and Andy. I think when the host literally begs them to "say something intelligent this time", it might be time to put the segment to bed.

On the bright side, they concoct segments like "Ab news" and "Yoga news". This is a segment where The camera lingers longingly on lovely ladies as they exercise while Greg reads news in a facetious manner. I congratulate them for putting something on the air which is by far the closest thing to pornography ever seen on a news channel. These segments first starred Courtney Friel, a woman so incredibly beautiful, she almost comes back around the other side to being ugly, and later added other regulars like Shira Lazar, Diana Falzone and Lauren Sivan. Impressive.


Greg's roommate Scott, Fluffy McNutter, Unicorn Jones, Greg's stunted half brother Gunnar and a naturally shirtless "Matthew McConaghey correspondaghey" are thrown in the mix along with Greg's mom, Mike Huckabee, and Father Jonathan Morris and this seeming dichotomy equals fascinating viewing. Add to that one of Greg's Greg-a-logues and you have a show like no other on television.

Someone once said that the show resembles some good friends at a bar good-naturedly chatting about the issues of the day. That infectious feel does come across. They recently celebrated their 600 show anniversary, and I congratulate the higher-ups at Fox News not just for taking a chance on the show in the beginning (in a pre-natal stage as "Wasteland"), but for letting it grow and thrive. Long live Red Eye!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

What's So Great About Sand?

Seeing as it's summer, I thought I would tackle something that has always been a mystery to me, that raises its head during the summer months.
People like to go to the beach when it's hot. But I've always failed to see the attraction of sand. Why intentionally go where sand is? The human need to go out of their way to seek out sand, I will never understand. Hm, that rhymes.

Okay, what is sand? It is little granules of rocks, a first cousin to dirt. Explain to me why this is an attraction. People take time out of their life, drive to the beach, and sand gets in your shoes, in your socks (if you wear socks to the beach), and everywhere, all over your clothes and beach towel. If you want to clear the sand off the bottom of your feet, your natural first impulse is to stick your feet in the ocean. But then you can't get out of the ocean without putting the sand back on your feet. Your best option is to try and put flip-flops on in the water. Not only is this awkward and challenging, but then you have wet flip flops.

Then the sand that is on your clothes and person gets in the car on the way home, and in your house. You have to take a shower to clean it all off. Then you spend the rest of your natural life finding and cleaning the sand that came back from the beach attached to your clothes. Why people intentionally seek out this experience I will never know.

Fascinating isn't it?

Inevitably, people figured out a way to use sand to torture people. Burying people in the sand except for their heads and letting the sun burn them to death. It's hard to see sand as anything BUT a way to torture people. When you're under the sand like that and you can't move your arms and legs at all, it's easy to think "this is fun". You are totally at the mercy of the sand and the sand-torturer.

But sand isn't all nuisance and torture device. Great innovations have been made of sand, such as hourglasses and glass. Where would we be without those inventors who made something out of nothing? I congratulate them. I say, put sand to work for us, not against us.

So while everyone is out there at the beach this summer getting tiny granules of dirt-like particles all over their clothes and body, I say have fun and godspeed. At least no one is forcing me to do it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The last political blog

The last blog posting, "The Antisemite", will be the last post of a political nature here on this blog.
From now on, all my political blogging will be at
I don't want this blog to be clogged up with all my political thoughts, because there may be a lot more of them in the months and years to come, what with the incompetent fraud now calling the shots. So in an effort to keep this blog somewhat light, I thought it best to separate the political from the nonpolitical. Thank you for your understanding.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Antisemite

I hate to break it to anyone who may be reading this, but our all-wise, all-seeing, all-knowing messiah, our golden boy who can do no wrong, Barack Hussein Obama, is an anti-semite.
I don't mean to say he is a proactively violent man, but his entire life since he was a child, he has been stewing in anti-white, anti-Israel, antisemitic rhetoric vis-a-vis his nonstop associations with radicals since his childhood. He has soaked up their views like a sponge, and he almost can't HELP be victim to their left-wing lies and harbor their views as well.

Start with his overly vehement denial that he is a Muslim, until it became politically expedient to do so. Not that there is anything wrong with being Muslim, millions of people are. But not so to B. Hussein Obama. I think that is because HIS vision of being Muslim, the way HE knows it to be, is automatically anti-Israel, and he just assumed other people would think that too, and he must have worried it would jeopardize the Jewish vote, or other votes. Never mind that his assumptions are largely false, but the left-wing anti-Israel sentiment was ingrained too deep in his personal upbringing to see that.

Going along in the mode of "now that I've been elected it's okay to discuss my Muslim roots and middle name", his speech in Cairo was a template of classic liberal moral equivalency. What he basically said was "Hamas SHOULD stop using violence against Israelis (and undoubtedly will listen to me, the wise one), but those naughty Israelis should also stop trying to live their lives."

Writer Ben Shapiro, who recognized Obama's antisemitism during the presidential campaign, writes, in reference to Obama and his handlers allowing Iran free reign with their nuclear program, "America's interest in the Iranian nuclear program has nothing to do with the Israeli-Arab conflict. The Obama administration knows this. They simply don't care. Their position is clear: America's ally, Israel, is no longer valuable. Sacrificing it in order to win Obama global popularity points is a worthwhile pursuit. The Obama administration offers Israel a choice between being a victim of suicide via territorial concessions to the Palestinian Arabs, or a victim of homicide via Iran. And the Obama administration forces that choice so that Obama can smile and wave at cheering throngs of Jew-hating maniacs who populate the Muslim world"*

Shapiro continues: "Yet Obama advocates for territorial concessions by Jews to radical Muslims. He presses Jews to hand over territory not 100 miles from the capital, but constituting half the capital itself. He knows that each time Israel has made territorial concessions, Muslim terrorists have upped the ante - most recently in both Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. And he knows that the Palestinian Arabs have never and will never lay down their arms. Yet he threatens Israel with allowing its nuclear annihilation if Israel refuses to authorize euthanasia"**

Imagine one of those Marxist, Socialist, Communist, tenured college professors that spew left-wingery at impressionable college students and call it an "education" elected to the highest office in the land. Well, that's exactly what happened. Obama served on a board with Rashid Khalidi, a confessed terrorist who has made many anti-Israel statements, including calling its creation a "catastrophe". He is a professor at Columbia University.***
According to, "Barack Obama's connection to radical Islamists such as Rashid Khalidi and Ali Abunimah have received scant media attention. Ali Abunimah, who runs the electronic Intifada website said that he met Obama at many pro-Palestinian events in Chicago. In 1998 Obama and his wife attended a banquet at which the virulently anti-Israel professor Edward Said was the keynote speaker."**** These men also claim, from talking to him personally, that Obama supports and shares their views.

Obama Edward Said
Michelle and Barack supporting and talking with "plagiarist, fabricator, and prominent PLO/Arafat advisor"***** Edward Said.

And then there's Reverend "them Jews won't let me talk to him" Wright. The man who said Louis Farrakhan "epitomized greatness", and traveled together to Libya to meet Qaddafi. The man who put Obama, Farrakhan, and himself on his own "Trumpet" publication. And we're supposed to believe there is absolutely NO ideological synchronicity WHATSOEVER? He sat in those pews for 20 years and forged a close personal relationship with this hatemonger but it was all an innocent accident?
Why did Obama help organize Farrakhan's million man march if he disagrees with him so strongly? Why put forth time and effort to help him? Dare I even mention father Pfleger?

There is more information out there, and more quotes to be repeated emphasizing Obama's anti-Israel, anti-Jewish stance, but this is running a bit long, so I will end by saying SHAME on anyone who purports to call themself Jewish and voted for Obama, a man who is clearly at odds with the ideals of the Jews, who chooses to clearly sympathize with enemies of Jews who would love nothing more than a second holocaust.

*Ben Shapiro, "Barack Obama proves his Anti-Semitism",