Sunday, July 22, 2012


wherever I live
I drink with moderation,
except for Boston

the sun starts a climb
I turn and see the bed and
my wallet emptied

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why Being a Banana can be Tiresome

Many times in my life I find myself being a banana, which has its benefits; it's an excellent conversation starter, you can easily hide booze in a banana costume, you get invited to more interesting parties.

But of course to all good things there is a foil and the downside to being elongated yellow fruit is to deal with the same 6 jokes, constantly. I'm not even sure that some should be defined as jokes or just lazy reference to internet humor. Spend one day as a banana and count how many times a stranger will come up to you singing 

"Ring, ring, ring, banana phone." 

And swear every time someone walks near me saying woo hoo HOO hoo HOO

A worse part is that they all think they're the first person to do this. The worst part is when they ask me to sing along. Maybe I'm having a smoke or I'm on my mobile, doesn't matter. They will come up asking for something.

Maybe I just want to eat cereal and not deal with your shit
I've had the songs Banana Phone, Peanut Butter Jelly Time, Chiquita Banana, and my personal favorite Day-O all sung to my by complete strangers like plantain pattern songs and fruit-centric serenades.

Sadly, no one does the dance

Oddly, no one ever chooses the Jack Johnson song Banana Pancakes.

One of the worst experience was a teenage girl insisting, while I was on the phone, that I sing Peanut Butter Jelly Time. Giving her the universal signal for 'fokk off, I'm on the phone' didn't work. I tried a simple "no" but the girl was relentless.

It's not just teens though, something about a man in polyester yellow makes people disregard social customs and people my parents age will allow their etiquette to slip into something so poor its only found on the internet.

Sometimes I just wanna chill
Comments and questions are fine, they are to be expected but joke-wise, my god if it's not the same 4 internet references its some poorly created innuendo. You're not hilarious for realizing that a banana is a phallic shape.

Only in Montreal did no one make the same comments, they simple laughed and proceeding on their French-Canadian lives.

Me and King Gansta' Bear/le Roi Gangst'our

I'm not complaining about my life as a banana, but I challenge you to do the same (not during Halloween) and we can commiserate.

Getting Over an Ex

I dare you to type the above phrase into Google or Bing or Gling. The assault of hilariously poorly written books, blogs, online essays, and advice columns would be every synonym for large on BigMac steroids. So here's a small list, because people love lists.

  • Get a haircut, everyone feels better after a haircut
  • Rearrange your furniture, a cheap trick to make your brain think you're in a different environment
  • Change your bed sheets
  • Start (or continue) some form of exercise
  • Spend time outdoors, the sun makes you feel better - fact
  • Avoiding sitting all together,  couches aren't your friends post-break-up
  • Listen to music you haven't enjoyed in quite a while

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cambridge Graffiti

I'm a little obsessed with graffiti, so here are some photos I've taken in the basement of student housing buildings at Harvard

After leaving, I saw a bunny

Monday, July 9, 2012

Community and Such

Between my graduation from university and my recent move to Boston, I spent a a few weeks at my folks' house reading, seeing friends, and generally accomplishing not a damn thing.
my accomplishments
After watching the first few episodes of Dan Harmon's Community and burdened with an exhaustive personality, I decided to watch every episode over a three day period. If you've ever watched the show, you must know the fascinating breakout character Abed who makes constant pop-culture references and comparisons between his reality and the reality of various films and shows while lamp-shading common themes, motifs, and tropes. Overall, he's a fascinating study in postmodern programming.

 So many naked lamps
While every form of televisual media references or borrows from others, Community stands out by announcing aloud when it does so. When young people are forced into an academic building for extended time, he literally says "This is kinda like the Breakfast Club, right?"

So why is this bad? It's not bad per se, but Abed constant stream of tv/movie reference encourage you to watch more. Moreover, his jokes almost act as a reward system for anyone who opted to watch The Chronicles of Riddick instead of being social.

Lost reference. Haha! My years of difficult TV watching has finally paid off!

After watching the episode where they parody mob films, I opted to watch Scareface. I didn't even realize that Dan Harmon had encouraged this until my friend commented.

So, while I certainly don't believe that shows like Family Guy or Community are going to make us less social, I do believe it will just sink our sense of comedy deeper into a post-modern paradigm.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Internet Photos vs. Internet Videos

Before you read any further, stop and think of all the real (they get paid to be published) photographers you know. I'll give you a minute.

Ready? Great. I came up with three. David LaChapelle, Kevin Carter, and my sister. And if try real hard I come up with...three. And that's only because LaChapelle is so off the fokken wall

No Idea what's happening

Kevin Carter was actually in the news, because his pictures of starvation were so haunting

And my sister, because I love watermeleon


So who cares? Now please, stop and think of every YouTube star or collective you can name.

Done? Awesome. In 30 seconds I came up with Chocolate Rain, Tron Guy, Light Saber Kid, Mega 64, Epic Meal Time, Numa Numa Guy, and Rebecca Black

And if I think just a bit longer...YTAS, Jenna Marbles, Leslie Hall, WOW freakout kid, Lana Del Ray, Grimes, and AutoTune the News.
If you gave me a search engine I could fill up a whole (terrible) coffee table book brimming with (awful) internet nostalgia. Moreover, I've only see about 2/3 of those I listed, the rest I knew through word of mouth or Tosh.0.
So why do we care? This extreme dichotomy of notoriety and medium is probably most interesting in terms of dollars.
Now that YouTube has started its process of monetization, if your video is popular enough you get money. Sucks to be Chocolate Rain.
Compare that to the tens of thousands of photographers and kids with cameras seeking cash or just simply recognition. They get dick.
But even worse, they loose the chance for receive a cent, the second their photos hit the web. My computer filled with photos I have no right to. The three images above all Google search provided. 
Photographers are almost aggressively ignorant at keeping claim to their work. I've found very few sites that offer any protection at all. If you go on Disney to look online at photos there are two big diagonal lines you only get removed by paying. Other websites have programs that don't allow the right click Save Image As.. to even happen. Look at my sister's photo above, she put up no protection, but in exchange for all the free exchange taken play on her hard work, she gets free publicity by throwing her name on.
The amount of people trying to get into the photography world is staggering and the number of dumb ones even more so. If someone can steal your work with a right click why even hire you? Look at memes. No one cares who took the original of ANY of those photos, but they all belong the collective internet now.
For Free
The same goes to artists who publish on the internet without protecting yourself or throwing your name somewhere on the thing itself. That's simply foolish.

Now let's discuss ownership.
As I said before, once your photo hits the web, it's gone and you've lost ownership. So slap on a name or no one will remember the works creator.
Videos, since 2007 are almost universally uploaded through YouTube.
So what? This gives the uploader/user recognition and control, which the photographers are so desperately seeking. Moreover a user can choose to take down their video whenever they feel like. After the universal hatred aimed at Rebecca Black after Friday was released, she took the video down (not that stopped anyone). So for a while, you couldn't find it through the most instantaneous method. She put it back up now with ads to make money btw.

In summation, photographers and artist make it so that stealing your work isn't an instantaneous process and maybe people will stop.

30% off books from Robinson Street Books at AbeBooks

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Films that Closely Followed the Book

People positively love bitching about how an optioned book butchers the original printed story, but rarely do we see anyone comment on the reverse.
Yesterday, I was doing a search for this exact thing but many of my searches were returned with names like Fight Club (where the ending is completely changed), Brokeback Mountain (which was expanded substantially off the 13 page story), and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
So, being sure that people just picked book-based cinema they liked, I've made my own list.
Everything here keeps closely to the story, tone, and themes of their original ink inscribed counterparts.

5. A Clockwork Orange
A know that people will disagree, but we must bare in mind that Kubrick's version was done off the American version of the novel, the one missing the final chapter that rejects senseless violence. With that in mind, the tone of dystopian society swathed in violence from the state and the citizens is well kept, and the dialogue is nearly word for word.

4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerers Stone
Back before it donned on Warner Brothers that the could slap 'Harry Potter' on any movie trailer and the fans would show up regardless of quality, they cared about those books its started as and for two movies did a goddamn job of adaptation.

3. Running With Scissors

Ryan Murphy manages to do something exceptionally rare for a film based on memoirs and that's to not fuse a bunch of characters into one.

2. No Country For Old Men

I don't know how many times I can rephrase 'well translated tone' and 'original dialogue but the film version has both.

1. A Scanner Darkly
Written during Philip K. Dick's prolific explosion of science fiction novels, not only is the tone, every motif, and the exact dialogue translated perfectly to the silver screen, its almost improved by the disjointed soundtrack and use of interpolated rotoscope animation.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Word of Warning if You've Read '50 Shades of Grey'

I don't delve into my personal life much on this blog, but today it seems necessary. On occasion I feel the need to go out to dark place and receive a good old-fashioned pedestrian flogging. These dark places are S&M clubs.

Listening to Lady Sovereign is
another intense form of masochism 
While my knowledge of this places only spans a meager three cities, I feel that there are some silly mythologies that need clearing.
After Rihanna's lazily named song 'S&M' and especially since the publication and over and almost forced popularization by the publishing houses of '50 Shades of Grey' and its sequels 'Same Story without Initial Intrigue' and 'Lazy Recycled Plot' S & M seems to be back in vogue.

Angelina Jolie helped as well

Maybe E.L.James helped a lot of people discover their inner kink
but at the same time I've heard my S&M orientated friends complaining at the number of green horns coming in and acting a fool.

Firstly, for most people, sado-masochism is not the adventures of a weekend warrior, it's an entire lifestyle complete with its own sub-culture and rules that go along with it. And no not break the rule and get 'tortured' kind, the break them and get ostracized kind.

Moreover, when you come in there's no magical registrar when you enter that asks your fetish/kink/whatever and sends you to the other side of your ampersand. It's a society, you network. So if you're not social don't bother.

The Dangers of Romanticism

When you read the Grey series it describes everything as sexy, interesting, and exciting. Once the tone is set, your brain takes over and fills in any non-described elements in the same manner, so E.L.James has created a really romanticized version of S&M culture revolving around a gorgeous protagonist and her equally fantastic cohorts. The book is an idealized and enthralling mirror that takes out the boring parts of the characters' days (as does most fiction). So don't expect you're life to turn into something novelesque because you've chosen to play around with whips.

I think the biggest disappointment that newcomers will find coming to the club or scene or whatever is the attractive levels. Movies like The Matrix trilogies, or Secretary would have their viewers believe some unfortunately false elements.
  • Not everyone is young
  • Not everyone is beautiful, or even in shape
  • Not everyone is rich
The Matrix's Club Hel, a beatiful lie

The vast majority of people who participate in sadomasochism are just like the vast majority of people you see in every day society. The proportions of attractiveness, youth, and money are pretty much the same. 
So while a new comer might expect the dark forest to be full of sexy nymphs, vampires, and fair folk, you should know those types are few and far between. You're more likely to just find (sigh) humans or even worse trolls.

Of course there are paid dominatrices in the world (maybe even in your town) but they are a minority working for a minority. The greater majority of them have daytime jobs anyways.
Concerning money, those full leather suites may look cool and have a custom made whip or natural horse hair may seem like a good idea, but damn those things are expensive. Go online right now and look at prices or head to your nearest sex shop and take a gander. Triple digit numbers almost consistently.

Here a sight gladly willing to sell you the rope, for a meager 50 bucks. Good luck with the corsets.

What this is meant to remind you is that it's a lifestyle to be respected and you should avoid using as a tool to create a wild 'when I was young' story.

Dedicated to D.S.

A Few Thoughts on Memory

Firstly, I’d like to remark that hindsight is not 20/20, it is something deluded to fractional impossibility of Carroll or Escher style porportions by poor recollection, supplanting confabulation arising from any emotion under the sun. Pride can warp the past for any mnemonic  interloper, guilt even more so. Most people look backwards polish the scraps of the past into heterocosms of nostalgia and why not, there’s no memory police to say nay or any janitors of Mnemosyne to clean up. 

A.L.M. con ti, niente e impossibile

some colorful ants

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Untranslatable Words (From English)

Search Google for untranslatable words a there are whole sites dedicated exclusively to words that the English lexicon fails to find an equivalent for. Oddly, I've never found a list of words that don't translate from English. So I made a list.

Butter Face
Girl with a great body, but her face is...unfortunate

The Itis
That sleepy feeling after you eat a big meal and craze a nap

My itis on the Moscow metro

Buddy who helps you get laid when you go out

The drinking before you go out

usually with knife-wielding primate

(see below)

Breaking the Seal
That first time you pee when drinking that makes you pee every 30 minutes thereafter

Things to do Before Graduating FSU

  • Perform the Tennessee Waltz (every bar along the strip)
  • See a Show at the Moon
  • Walk along The Rape Trail (St. Mark's Trail) at night
  • Be Thrown in the Fountain (bonus if it's your birthday)
  • Participate in Dance Marathon
  • Participate in Relay for Life
  • Dress well for Club Pub
  • Go to a Frat Party
  • Happy Hour at Pots
  • Ride Night-Nole drunk
  • Eat Breakfast for a dollar
  • Pre-game for a Football Game
  • Go to a Homecoming Game
  • Spontaneous Seminole Chop in a group at a non-sporting event 
  • All-nighter at Strozier
  • Canoe/Kayak/Paddle Board at the Rez Center
  • Wakulla Springs
  • Sister Sinks
  • Bear Paw (must be drunk)
  • See a step-performance on Market Wednesday
  • Eat at Po'Boys
  • Eat at Gordo's
  • Visit Tennessee St. McDonald's drunk

Zef and Poshlust - Die Antwoord and R. Kelly

My old Russian professor was once attempting to explain the concept of poshlust' to us and through Soviet dentures and style of lecture better classified as informative rambling, she failed. Entirely.
This led a brave freshmen asking if it was like zef, a South African word to describe the qualities of the consciously low class. Our professor not understanding asked for further explanation and was given Enter the Ninja by Die Antwoord a South African self proclaimed zef group that showers itself in a kitsch and white trash persona. Here's the video.

After a minute the Russian emigre had enough and proudly rounded her lips to convey every shade of the initial nasal sound in 'no.'
After a second attempt to explain involving a Nabokov quote -

"Corny trash, vulgar clich├ęs, Philistinism in all its phases, imitations of imitations, bogus profundities, crude, moronic and dishonest pseudo-literature"

Here the young girls courage swelled again and with her manual extremities skyward inquired its relationship with R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet.

For those who don't know, Trapped in the Closet is rapper R. Kelly's bizarre attempt at combining rap and opera to create a hip-hopera. Through a cliche ridden story, poor acting, no concept of was an opera actually is, and the use of a SINGLE beat THROUGH THE ENTIRE 2 plus hours, he fails.

Needless to say, our professor refused to be led to YouTube's dark clutches a second time, but I believe the girl was almost correct.

Poshlust' is used by an author to make a character unlikable often foil a protagonist. R. Kelly manages to supersede poshlust' by making an entire feat or nothing but. By having the story be based solely on adultery with flat characters and absolutely no character development he made us hate them all. Trapped in the Closet chaotically oozes poshlust' with no foils whatsoever.

So why am I discussing this with zef. Let's review.

  • Poshlust' is a flat character acting with aggressive philistinism, who try to appear intelligent.
  • Zef is a normally flat character acting with aggressive kitsch and ignorance who want to appear kitsch and ignorant.
Zef acts as the hyperbolic parody to poshlust'. Poshlust' characters speak in cliches, listen to some Die Antwoord lyrics, which are actually cliches.

"you can't do this, you can't do that. Who said so?"
"I do my own thing...Maybe I answer, Maybe I'm busy."
"getting closer to God...I flow from the heart."
"Yippee ki yay."
"Why is your (dick) so big. All the better to love you with."
"I know what you're never gonna get it."

Or choruses of

"I don't need you" "Rich Bitch" "Wat kyk jy (What you looking at)"

Everything zef is both kitsch, consciously low-class, tawdry and also incredibly random. Any feeling of sensibility is lost to a combination of kitschy gimmicks and self imposed Dadaism. So I want to expand zef to all those shows and music videos that are baffling, but must be seen, not hilarious, but hypnotizing. And while Die Antwoord is certainly a prototypical example, with this re-appropriation of nomenclature we can give a classification to some work by

Odd Future

Das Racist

And literally everything by Leslie Hall

(All of these video have at least 1,000,000 views)

And Williams Street

The adventures of fries, a milkshake, and uncooked meat for example

12 oz. Mouse

China, IL

I pronounce all these zef.