All posts for the month January, 2006

This is very cool, this animation concocted in 1999 capturing synesthesiacally the emotion behind a very mathematical jazz piece by John Coltrane, and created by Michal Levy. Check it out.

The complete opposite of this ditty is this wonderful subversive comic from the Perry Bible Fellowship, one of my favorite web comics. This makes me laugh and laugh, and then I breathe, and then I laugh again.

And of course, in order to avoid tying up these loose threads, I stumbled upon this strange little game… DDR MMORPG? This tops Shot Online as the quirkiest quirk to estrange embarrassed Western gamers.

Speaking of that, I've got a rant building up, but today is the rainy dreary kinda day I love, so I'll put it off until that damnable sun-a-sparklin' shows its mug.

As a perfectionist in the art of perpetually jumping on the hip wagon late, I have some confessions to make.

The first is tejano club rap, which I recently got hooked on no thanks to Delinquent Habits' "Return of the Tres" at the opening screen of Total Overdose. So I started listening to the tejano stations and kept getting my H interrupted by delusional latino communities talking up political activism with laughable ignorance, not unlike what I saw with the Asian community. It always boils down to "White Guy X is so rich it's his responsibility to give back to the community and save us from evil Arnold Schwarzanegger."

First of all, White Guy X has no incentive what-so-ever to give back to random community "leaders" making demands from their armchairs. I almost crashed my car when someone said Steve Jobs recently acquired half of the $7.54 billion worth in Pixar, and was morally obliged to save a cluster of no-name underperforming middle schools. Second of all, for the UC system to demand money of Arnie is nearly the joke of the coast. Apparently 6 figure salaries and 5 figure "compensations" for moving, perversely overdrawn business expenses, bogglingly inefficient new facilities, and extraordinate wastes of money in things like a second renovation of the same football field, apparently these have no part in the low wages across campuses and had no effect on Arnie's decision not to give the UCs more money. Did I mention student body increases and a 40% tuition hike within 5 years?

Anyways, this is just a long way of saying that I bought Daddy Yankee, and his tejano rap mojo was good.

My other confession is Children of Bodom. They are rawk incarnate. They are metal. No, they are fucking metal. If listening to them does not make you want to air guitar the way Flogging Molly makes you want to grab a stein or Alanis Morisette makes you want to dirty sanchez little children, then you have no soul. It's not particularly cerebral, it's not even heavy, but I haven't had this much fun since Kataklysm's "Poetry of War" or early Dissection. Or the Black Album. Dismember? Anyways, forget the fact that wild child prodigy Alex Laiho is just a kid, if anything that teenage angst has long been missing from the one-ups-manship of modern metal. This is the Billy Idol of our time (which they in fact cover).

What has the world come to? Have the freemasonry realized the jeopardy their New World Order stands on with the legs given them by Dr. Uwe Boll? To borrow a thread from Tycho, has the modern corporate Columbus discovered new testicles at a time when the diminishing returns of recycled licenses has begun to kill the host?

Dan "Shoe" Hsu reamed Peter Moore in the ass in his Xbox 360 interview, with all the questions gamers really want to know (a.k.a. forum flamebait) coming out a less serviceable mouth of reputable video-game journalism, an industry of ill-repute. Bravo, but encore.

Then, out of the fog, the Silent Hill movie trailer reared up to give us a fright. A game movie that actually looks, feels, sounds, and tastes like a game turned into a movie and not just projectile bulimia from clueless Hollywood mamasans? Is this what Twin Earth feels like?

And then, to top it all off, Disney bought Pixar. Without Eisner on the chair. With Roy back in the fold. Lasseter as Chief Creative Officer. Steve Jobs on the Board of Directors where hopefully there aren't enough lestats in the room to drain the impressive showman of his stamina. Does this mean Disney will stop putting out shallow myths with marketable characters and grandly wrapping said animation around music videos to shamelessly deem par with the disney quality of days of Eeyore? Does this mean… dare I say it… a conscience for creative accountability has been established?

Keep an eye on your happy meal, the fate of mankind rests in these greasy, shifting hands.

We hit up the rather obscure Hitchcock movie Rope, and I was elated at how it reminded me of those simple, "one" act plays like The Boor and Twelve Angry Men. It begins with the murder of a third man by two educated, east-coast students who find it intellectually stimulating to then put him in a box and serve a dinner party on his coffin. The entire movie takes place in this one apartment.

1948, Hitchcock gave us what is still one of the most challenging films about homosexuality today. The students repeat a misunderstood Nietzchian ideology of ubermensch who are privileged with the right to kill those inferior to themselves, and execute the perfect murder and use its vain and morbid soiree as a testament to their superiority, even so far as inviting the perceptive professor that seeded their work. But as we watch them make judgment on their victim, and justify their act with intelligence, we mirror our own judgments on a film about two less-than-ambiguously gay conspirators. Hollywood would have "killed" the film had it not been toned down from the far more flamboyant play it was based on. The fetish of the murder weapon, a rope, works as well as an amorally erotic fetish.

As one of the first famous directors to understand the technical side of film-making, it's little wonder he is the greatest uncredited influence to camerawork today. At a time when others were blindly filming movies like plays, he was filming a play like a movie.

It seems to me that every single forum barters conversation in a fairly quantifiable Moiré pattern of civility and idiocy. Invariably, it distills to this:

Person A: "This topic is great, I've been wondering on it deeply and would like others to partake."

Person B: "Fuck you."

Person A: "I was being perfectly honest, please contribute to this conversation. And fuck you too."

Person C: "Fuck your mother. Read my hilarious sig that I stole from someone wittier."

Person D: "Ignore the troll, instead I'd like you to listen to my quasi-experienced opinion as I try to correct the forum's average etiquette level. Please don't let these people turn you off to my intellectual response."

Person E: "I'm imprtant! I've even got a quip and a non-sequiter hear to demonstrate my imprtance. LoL."

Person A: "Thank you kind sir, but I'm going to play the fool and continue to badger, as it emulates a higher intellectual level than I actually operate at. I also want to spite the guy who told me to fuck my mother."

Person B: "I never told you to fuck your mother, read my post carefully. Ok, I'll be fucking honest- here's some ad hominems to introduce my counterpoint that your dumbass didn't think of. Next time use google."

Person F: "Here's a joke! It's makes no sense because I'm drunk ahahahahahaha…"

Person A: "Bump. Why is my thread not at the top of the list."

Person G(A): "Bump. This other login makes it look like other people want to hear about it too."

Person H: "Here's my angry rant about why people argue on the internet, completely missing the irony of my own role in its perpetuation, as well as the silliness of this post coming in a month after the last. And you should all learn to spell."

Person E: "Shut up. If you're so smart, why don't you invent your own internet. You leanr to spell, asshole."

Person Z: "In-depth and essentially correct and comprehensive answer."

The End.

The highlands, home to the purveyors of the American "pornographic" (GTA's Rockstar), clearly have more sense than us… police of Edinburgh, Scotland have halved youth crime by challenging them cops vs. brats style to an Xbox tournament. It's so effective, some youth dare not go out for fear of accidentally committing a crime and thereby being excluded from the festivities.

I can't see why it isn't crystal clear to this country that an outlet for vice is an efficient necessity, and its fair regulation healthy for the goverment's pockets as well as its citizens' well-beings. Why is marijuana still illegal in face of the obviously superior toxicity of alcohol. Why is prostitution not enforced and unionized when its overrun a.k.a. street-walking is a cesspool of danger for everyone. These aren't questions, they're exasperations.

And who has the answer? Why, the Japanese of course. They've so skillfully crafted the persistent sin that their boys are petered out, with nothing rebellious left to do but masturbate and make absolutely INSANE animations like this: Michael Jackson Vs. Zangief

Now, would a world like this be so bad? Watch it once for yea, twice for nay.

Some how we grabbed back to back sci-fi ventures, yet they were polar opposers. The first was Vivaldi's Four Seasons, except by Vivaldi I mean the Wong Kar-Wai– the man who embodies the very whole of the Hong Kong genre by the virtue of how far above it he stands, and by Four Seasons I mean a place called 2046. The key to understanding this film is that 2046 is a place in the mind, figuratively and literally. It is not a time, except in the sense of being a timeless hypothesis for the time-traveling protagonist trapped in an emotional time-loop. This is the one director who has kept my hope alive for Asian non-Japanese cinema; the complex mirror of real-life, imagined life, story life, and Faye Wong's life (drool) when they reach 2047 redeems the unforgivable creative suicide Zhang Yimou took going from Hero to House of the Flying Faggots.

Am I too harsh? No. Not since I realized that Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was but serendipity held together by only the strength of an amazing cast and the aural gesticulations of Yo-Yo-Ma. It certainly wasn't cosmically overrated Ang Lee doing the heartstring-tuggin', tho he sure fancies himself the Wizard of Az. Wong Kar-Wai gives us nothing but achingly beautiful shot after shot without ever abusing scenic national parks in China. Like no other director, he takes the most impossibly colored shots and arranges them to tell us with space as well as subject what his characters desire. If you guess my favorite shot in the whole movie, I'll give you $100, well-deserved.

So, with that mouthful of cud chewed, I'll turn on impulse 9 :furious: and say if you want a good action film, Equilibrium is some serious fun. There are few things done wrong for a movie of this budget and premise, and if you can suspend a touch of snobbery at all the stolen references to Fahrenheit 451 and 1984, it'll be that good kind of cheese to go with your popcorn. Their Gun Kata martial art is actually pretty neat later on. It's a blast! (If you smiled, then you've passed the corn test, go rent it.)

There's only one thing in the news today more important than Tetris DS with its NiWiFi multiplayer block-completiongasm.

Now, I am not one to trust the stock market. AFAIK, to anyone but type A and type B, it's merely a professional looking gamble. In fact, the Chinese word for operating on the stock market is "wan" which translates literally to "play." How's that for an admission. Type A are people who spend every waking second knowing the going's on of the industry, the business, and the health of the nation, and can edge their investments past the border of profitability. Type B is the the type who makes his broker rich by trading on every other down and up. When they get lucky, they call it skill and intuition. When they take a loss, they call it bad luck.

So you can understand then, given my abhorrence for the investment "pretense" we find amongst wall sharks, that it was a major decision for me to put even a dime last year into Motorola (nyse: MOT). Big M is doing so-so, slightly under-priced, decent company backbone, growing market share after finally making decent phones for a comeback. On the other hand, they have a history of losing their brilliant minds, and their key employees don't seem eager to invest in the company itself.

Enough money talk. Let's not fool ourselves into thinking we know where MOT is going. Why did I buy? Well, since the invention of the lightbulb, the PC, and the cell-phone, nothing has really infiltrated into our everyday dependency. Every year, gadgets try desperately to escape the power strip nursery we created them for. Two things on the horizon will change that.

E-Ink. E-Paper if you will. It seems rather unglamorous at the moment, but it will revolutionize the white collar pantheon. It will become a new force in the Unified Theory of Advertising Relativity. One day, you will eat out of cereal boxes that play cartoons on them. You'll have multi-page post-it notes, self-updating billboards, posters you can order tickets from, T-shirts that change logos, postcards that show home videos, and an umbrella that flickers when it knows there is rain this week. Forms, brochures, pamphlets will all have tutorials built into them, and the 1040EZ will calculate as you write. My business card will host my demo reel.

And you thought e-Books were a big deal. Holographic displays are not the future.

You might be thinking of going to right about now, but rest assured, they are privately held. But their list of partners reads like the who's who of the future of entertainment.

While these subtle improvements to your life waft in, a scent stronger than silicon will wake you up one day. A battery. A real battery, one that lasts all day under constant use. Or one as thin as a business card. One you can even cut in half if it doesn't fit in your wallet. Will that not be the one salvation to the bindings of this technomania? Only Motorola knows. There isn't a single gadget that wouldn't date-rape a TRUE long-life battery though.

Scotty told me too look out for diabetes and hearing loss on the medical front. He's dead right, and the epidemic is looming. Am I a little selfish to wish for the day a 24-hour iPod leaves half the boomer's babies deaf? For my investments' sakes, I'll leave that unanswered.

The gamer in you knows these guys speak the truth.

The gamer in me knows that the aptly named Total Overdose is shamefully fun. If Max Payne were Razor Ramone, and killing was like tricking in Tony Hawk, you'd have this wonderful margarita mix where Once Upon A Time In Mexico tells GTA how to do combat right. Sure, it doesn't have the depth or polish of San Andreas, but man does it get the killin' right, right down to the SMG packin' mandolin cases "slyly" named El Mariachi.

After the whole Hot Coffee incident, where once again we fell to brandishing our double-edged sword of sex over violence, it's great to play a game that won't *actually* be sued since none of these putas actually get shagged in-game. Good-ole'-fashioned sawed-off braining while cartwheeling off the grimy walls of la joyeria. And shame on those doped-up mexican dope-dealing cannon fodder for dealing dope in virtual Mexico. It's a good thing we have upstanding virtual mexican protagonists in there for contrast. The only thing this game needs is Gary Coleman.

They say a picture is worth a thousand snarks.

Looks like someone discovered you can improve on sliced bread by slicing something else. Too bad they chose styrofoam.

Completely OT, but I've been ruminatin' and I've come to the conclusion that Metal : Classical :: Rap : Jazz. The first two are anthems of intricate, controlled design that chooses emotional milestones to build you up to. So we get monumental slabs of polyrhythmic genius book-ended by that Beethoven legacy telling us to just rawk. On the other hand, the latter two must be immediate to be relevant, creative in execution, natural and organic. Even when post-processed, it is done so to sound living, be it through instrument improvisations or gang roll-calls.

Well, I'm not sure what my conclusions say, other than insinuating that metalheads have a harder time swallowing jazz than the classics and vice versa, but one thing's for sure… I've just taxonomized the musical etymology showing why white folks can't dance.