Monday, December 7, 2009

Seasons Greetins

The snowman stands on a landscape blanketed in his own flesh and blood.

Perhaps in making snowmen we are not unlike God, who in Adam shaped us from the clay in the earth on which we stand.



"Nature has formed nothing that does not consume itself, and every object near it: so that, surrounded by earth and air, and all the active powers, I wander on my way with aching heart; and the universe is to me a fearful monster, for ever devouring its own offspring."

-- Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, Die Lieden Des Jungen Werthers

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

DuckTales Musical Appreciation



For as long as I can remember, the musical score -- provided that it's any good -- has for me often been the most memorable part of the old TV shows and movies I grew up with. Case in point: I may have forgotten some of the plots and characters from DuckTales, but I could always hum the show's chase music* with perfect accuracy.

Nine times out of eight, the only way to hear this music is by actually watching the show, and then the score is cluttered by sound effects and dialogue. Like Scrooge and his money bin, the companies that "own" the archived works of television composers tend to lock up and viciously guard their acquisitions despite having no intention of doing anything with them.

It's always a rare and beautiful thing then when some of this music manages to escape the corporate vault, as in the case of Ron Jones' magnificent score for DuckTales. What you are listening to now is a ten-minute sampler featured many years ago on Ron's promotional website. The file vanished from the web shortly thereafter when some attorneys stepped in and deemed it illegal for the Ron's music to reach human ears.

As you can see, someone has finally remedied that by uploading the track to Youtube.

*the chase music appears in the video at the 1:44 mark, by the way.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Urgent Coorespondence


Dear Mr. Emperor Hsuan-tsung,

I am writing to inform you that the T’ang dynasty is going collapse by the year 907 CE. As the military class obtains more power in the form of fan-chen, you will see more armies taking greater license and acting with more disregard for imperial prerogative. Under these conditions, your military commissioners are going to inevitably stage a coup. One such commissioner named An Lushan is going to lead a rebellion of 200,000 men against your dynasty in the year 756, permanently compromising the stability of the T’ang. Another named Chu-Wen is actually going to assassinate a T’ang emperor. Unless you want an autonomous faction of professional killers undermining your authority and waging insurrection, I recommend cutting back on the military regions and focusing your attention on maintaining food supplies in the North -- we don't want any hungry peasants staging revolts, am I right?

I hope you take this letter seriously. The future of the T’ang dynasty is at stake!

Sincerely,
Jesse Elias

From the scribe of Chancellor Han Xiu:

Dear Jesse,

The emperor thanks you for your interest in his glorious reign. Here at the Imperial Palace we do our best to keep all our subjects content and subservient. Your questions and comments are therefore very important to us and will be taken into consideration accordingly. Please note that we ask all our subjects to hail the emperor in writing as Xuanzong, as we prefer Pinyin romanization to Wade-Giles.

Sincerely,
Chancellor Han Xiu

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Retro Anime Music Spotlight: Takarajima


http://www.megaupload.com/?d=VXPWA02H

Just look at that album cover. How can you NOT download it?




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Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Shephearde's Calender: October

October is still a day from over so I'm just a hair shy of breaking my promise to you loyal readers out there. To recapitulate, I vowed in September to dedicate one post each month to that month's corresponding eclogue in Spenser's The Shephearde's Calender. Therefore, before November hits, I present to you the second installment in this twelve-part monster:


The October eclogue is among my favorites from the Calender, namely because it features my favorite character, Cuddie. Cuddie is first introduced in the February eclogue as a fiery and impertinent youth who dismisses the wisdom of his elders (and not entirely without foundation) as bitter old curmudgeonliness designed to spoil his fun.

In October things come full circle, as we see Cuddie living the dream of his youthful fancies (or rather having lived it) as a burnt-out rock star of the pastoral world.

He laments to Piers, a shepherd:

"Piers, I haue pyped erst so long with payne,
That all mine Oten reedes bene rent and wore:
And my poore Muse hath spent her spared store,"

Cuddie then goes on to complain about how the young people he entertains reap all the enjoyment of his labors, while he sees little gain from it. They're still fresh and young and haven't had they're wide-eyed dreams spoiled yet. They're like the kids who still beleive in Santa Claus; Cuddie is the guy in the Santa suit making minimum wage so he can go home to a roach-infested tenement and drink himself to sleep.

Cuddie's jealousy of the younger crowd here reflects that of the older shepherd whom he mocked in the February eclogue. The carefree grasshopper who spurned the ant's austere advice has survived winter only to become even more of a downer than the ant.

Piers reminds Cuddie that love for art ought to be compensation enough for the performer, and that he can take satisfaction in knowing that he provides an invaluable service to society as a bard who "retrains" the lust of youth by sublimating it with bawdy comic verse. Cuddie, however, isn't buying it, so Piers then suggests that he try switching from pastoral to epic poetry, effectively giving up comedy to become a "serious" artist. Cuddie considers, but in the end concludes that he is too tired to.

In the end, the best Piers can do to console Cuddie is to promise him a goat. I guess that would be the pastoral version of "I'll buy you a drink."

Cheers to all you aging, disillusioned artists and performers out there.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Relationships


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Politecal Cartoun

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lib Balm Blowout

If it exists, it has its own lip balm. If you don't believe me, go to Dollar Tree.






















To be continued...

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So Hitler Walks into an RPG...

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thoughts

Eloquent men are often accused of overreacting, when, in fact, they are simply describing normal thoughts and feelings with such thoroughness and detail that to the layman they appear larger than life.

Persistent goodwill may not always get the angry man to make peace, but if you are persistent enough eventually he will tire out and become not so angry.

Unhappy people excel in the arts because they constantly have to reinvent their reality to make it tolerable.

Much of our affections arise out of convenience and thrive by habit.

Chewing pudding reminds me of walking underwater, probably because they are both wasted efforts reserved for solid things.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Freezing and Shattering



The movies would have you believe that frozen flesh and bone can be shattered like glass. I don't know about you folks, but the other night I tried cutting up a frozen chicken leg and I couldn't hack that shit with a meat cleaver, much less explode it with a single kick.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Portrait of a Dirty Dancer: Cave Text Remembers Patrick Swayze

International acting and dancing sensation Patrick Swayze died on the evening of September 14th. He was most famous for his heartthrob role as dance instructor Johnny Castle in 1987's Dirty Dancing, a surprising international success that was the first film to sell one million copies on video (wikipedia).

Swayze had been struggling with Pancreatic Cancer for nearly two years. Not only will he be remembered for his career, but also persevering much longer than doctors expected against the deadly disease, for his devotion to his wife, as well as his exuberance and taste for life.

Swayze was mostly known for a handful of supporting roles when he broke through with his performance as dance instructor Johnny Castle in 1987's "Dirty Dancing." Co-star Jennifer Grey, who played his young lover, Baby Houseman, in the film, described Swayze as "gorgeous and strong."


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"Not only will he be remembered for his career, but also ... for his devotion to his wife, as well as his exuberance and taste for life."


"Patrick was a rare and beautiful combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace. ... He was a real cowboy with a tender heart. He was fearless and insisted on always doing his own stunts, so it was not surprising to me that the war he waged on his cancer was so courageous and dignified," Grey said in a statement Monday.

"When I think of him, I think of being in his arms when we were kids, dancing, practicing the lift in the freezing lake, having a blast doing this tiny little movie we thought no one would ever see. My heart goes out to his wife and childhood sweetheart, Lisa Niemi, to his mom, Patsy, and to the rest of their family."

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"Patrick was a rare and beautiful combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace. ... He was a real cowboy with a tender heart"


Three years after "Dirty Dancing," he became an even bigger star with "Ghost," in which he played an investment banker who dies and learns to tap into his unspoken feelings for his partner (Demi Moore). The film won Whoopi Goldberg an Oscar and helped make him People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1991.

"Patrick was a really good man, a funny man and one to whom I owe much that I can't ever repay," Goldberg said in a statement. "I believe in 'Ghost's' message, so he'll always be near."


The film star's biographer, Wendy Leigh, who wrote the book "Patrick Swayze: One Last Dance", said he had endured physical pain throughout his life.

"When he got diagnosed with this awful, awful disease he was determined to fight it and actually he lived far longer than most people who are diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, which was what Patrick had."

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"When he got diagnosed with this awful, awful disease he was determined to fight it"


Pancreatic cancer is one of the most virulent forms of cancer which medical experts say has a 5% five-year survival rate.

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Self-defeating Nostalgia


I miss the rockin' Joe Camel ads I'd sometimes see when I was growing up. As the 90's wore on, billboards displaying ads like these were coerced and legislated out of existence, thanks to some crybaby anti-tobacco groups claiming that the ads were aimed at children.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Shephearde's Calender: September

Edmund Spenser's The Shephearde's Calender (1579) is a collection of twelve pastoral poems (eclogues) corresponding to each month of the year. For no real reason, starting now with September, I'm going to post each eclogue in its proper month, until a full year has elapsed.


Synopsis:

Diggon Davies, a shepherd, has spent nine months on the road in search of better trading opportunities. He returns now to his homeland poorer than before and bereft of his flock, lamenting to fellow shepherd Hobbinoll and reflecting on the perils of ambition.

I wote ne Hobbin how I was bewitcht
With vayne desyre, and hope to be enricht.
But sicker so it is, as the bright starre
Seemeth ay greater, when it is farre:
I thought the soyle would haue made me rich:
But nowe I wote, it is nothing sich.


Analysis:

Between the anti-Catholic jingoism and didactic admonitions, there is a great deal of anxiety hanging over this eclogue. Summer is over; winter draws nearer. Cutthroat criminals "of Popish prelates" have fleeced their fellow shepherd in Diggon. Country values and Christian virtue are compromised. The way of humble shepherd is slowly being displaced by unscrupulous mercantilism. Yet the greater cycle of nature promises hope of another spring. We see a glimmer of this hope in the end as the spirit of Christian compassion is shown to be alive and well in Hobbinoll, who offers Diggon some straw to sleep on until his financial situation improves.

Like the eternal cycle of the year, I believe much of this still resonates with present aspects of the human condition. At times, many of us feel that the ideals we put our faith in are yielding to an increasingly mean and degenerate version of the world we were taught to believe in. At times it feels like fraud and bullshit are on the cusp of assimilating the last outposts of honest living. Decisions shaping our lives are made before we're even aware of them; avenues are closed to us before they even appear on the horizon: "The flattring fruite is fallen to grownd... and rotted, ere they were halfe mellow ripe" (December). But, in the tradition of pagan stoicism, every cloud has a sliver lining, or, "When the rayne is faln, the cloudes wexen cleare."

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Adventures in Legal Bullshit: Uncrustables are Serious Business


"People think it is amusing to talk about patents on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but it is a patent that never should have been issued. This is a technology -- if you can call it that -- that has been around in many forms for many years." -- Adam Jaffe, professor of economics at Brandeis University, Mass..

From U.S. Patent 6,004,596 , "Sealed Crustless Sandwich":

Filing date: Dec 8, 1997
Issue date: Dec 21, 1999

We claim:

1. A sealed crustless sandwich, comprising: a first bread layer having a first perimeter surface coplanar to a contact surface; at least one filling of an edible food juxtaposed to said contact surface; a second bread layer juxtaposed to said at least one filling opposite of said first bread layer, wherein said second bread layer includes a second perimeter surface similar to said first perimeter surface; a crimped edge directly between said first perimeter surface and said second perimeter surface for sealing said at least one filling between said first bread layer and said second bread layer; wherein a crust portion of said first bread layer and said second bread layer has been removed.





2. The sealed crustless sandwich of claim 1, wherein said crimped edge includes a plurality of spaced apart depressions for increasing a bond of said crimped edge.

3. The sealed crustless sandwich of claim 2, wherein said crimped edge is a finite distance from said at least one filling for increasing said bond.



4. The sealed crustless sandwich of claim 3, wherein said at least one filling comprises: a first filling; a second filling; a third filling; and wherein said second filling is completely surrounded by said first filling and said third filling for preventing said second filling from engaging said first bread layer and said second bread layer.

5. The sealed crustless sandwich of claim 4, wherein said first filling and third filling have sealing characteristics.

6. The sealed crustless sandwich of claim 5, wherein: said first filling is juxtaposed to said first bread layer; said third filling is juxtaposed to said second bread layer; and an outer edge of said first filling and said third filling are engaged to one another to form a reservoir for retaining said second filling in between.

7. The sealed crustless sandwich of claim 6, wherein said first filling and said third filling are comprised of peanut butter; and said second filling is comprised of a jelly.

8. The sealed crustless sandwich of claim 7, wherein said crimped edge is formed into a substantially circular shape.

9. A sealed crustless sandwich, comprising: a first bread layer having a first perimeter surface, a first crust portion and a first contact surface; a first filling juxtaposed to said first contact surface; a second bread layer having a second perimeter surface, a second crust portion and a second contact surface; a second filling juxtaposed to said second contact surface; a third filling; a crimped edge directly between said first and second perimeter surfaces for sealing said first, second, and third fillings between said first and second bread layers; wherein said first and second crust portions have been removed and said third filling is encapsulated by said first and second fillings.

10. The sealed crustless sandwich of claim 9 wherein said first filling and said second filling have sealing characteristics.

US006004596C1 (12) EX PARTE REEXAMINATION CERTIFICATE (5899th) United States Patent ao) Number: us 6,004,596 ci



Further Reading:

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Survey Sez: America Still Hungry for Verbs

Chicken Bakes


Gripz (pluralized with a 'z' for street cred)


Meltz

Toasted Wraps (Roasted Toasted Wraps, if you don't want crispy)


Quakes


Snackers


Jammers


Slammers


Chugs


Yogos ("yogurty-covered fruity dots")


Yogos
Bits


Yogos
Bits
Crashers


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Friday, September 4, 2009

The Blue and Orange Comedies of the Mid-nineties

1991-1996
Gone but not Forgotten.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hubris: Commercial Blarney Praises the Boorish Omnipotence of YOU

Fuck "you."


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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Plato's Batman

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonic_realism

"In metaphysics, a universal is what particular things have in common, namely characteristics or qualities. In other words, universals are repeatable or recurrent entities that can be instantiated or exemplified by many particular things." -- Wikipedia


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I'm Seeing Things Again

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Reading is Fun

More people need to read more classics. It's a well-documented fact that reading the classics reduces people's chances of ending up as vapid, self-absorbed philistines when they get older. Plus, if you make the effort to actually read and understand these books, you will realize that many of them are insane as they are brilliant.

I have therefore resolved to use this blog as a platform to expound the virtues of some of the craziest, coolest works in the literary canon. The first story I've chosen for this task is perhaps the nuttiest work of Romantic literature ever written...



What it's about/ Why you should read it:

Auguste C. Dupin is an analytical genius and Parisian flaneur who likes to solve crimes in his spare time. The powers of his reason are so far-reaching that he can even read people's minds. To deduce a man's thoughts, Dupin only has to identify the causal chain of mental associations brought about by the stimuli of that man's external environment -- that is, when you walk past a fruitier, Dupin knows that said fruitier will remind you of this one particular thing, which then reminds you of this and that thing and so on, until, twenty degrees of separation and fifteen minutes later, he now knows that you are currently thinking about the harsh reviews the local critics gave that midget actor currently starring in the latest production of Xerxes.

Murders in the Rue Morgue bears the distinction of being the very first work of detective fiction ever published. That's right... Sherlock Holmes, everyone's favorite calabash-smoking douchebag, is in fact a two-bit knockoff of Dupin dumbed down for the hoi polloi. Even Conan Doyle's Dr. Watson would appear to have been lifted from Morgue: like Holmes, Dupin also has his intellectually inferior sidekick, who, in addition to serving as the story's narrator, performs Watson's function here as the ponderous foil to whom the detective may explain his brilliant reasoning for our enjoyment.

However, unlike the Holmes stories -- and this is important -- Morgue is completely batshit insane. The story begins not with the actual story, but a five-page editorial ramble explaining why checkers is a more sophisticated game than chess:

"It follows that the game of chess, in its effects upon mental character, is greatly misunderstood. I am not now writing a treatise, but simply prefacing a somewhat peculiar narrative by observations very much at random; I will, therefore, take occasion to assert that the higher powers of the reflective intellect are more decidedly and more usefully tasked by the unostentatious game of draughts than by all the elaborate frivolity of chess."

The narrator then starts talking about how he met Dupin, their sexually ambiguous life together as Bert-and-Ernie-style roommates, and just how goddamn smart Dupin really is. A billion words later, the real story actually begins for real with Dupin coming across an interesting story in the morning paper: apparently, the mutilated bodies of two women were recently found at their home in the Rue Morgue. Naturally, he local constabulary is baffled and has gone with the standard practice of pinning the crime on some random Jew for closure. This looks like a mystery only Dupin can solve.


SPOILERS: DO NOT HIGHLIGHT THE TEXT BELOW UNLESS YOU WANT TO HAVE THE CRAZIEST TWIST-ENDING EVER WRITTEN TOTALLY RUINED FOR YOU!

[[[ After studying all the clues, Dupin discovers that the killer is in fact an orangutan.]]]

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Fozzie



I'm tired of trying to explain why Fozzie looks like fried chicken, so I made this picture.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Millions of Babies Worldwide

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Semiotics

"A "hipster" is what "hipsters" call other "hipsters" to detract attention away from their own "hipsterness." A "hipster" was once the word du jour for cool and hip people, but now that its uncool and unhip to be hip and cool, it's what unhip and uncool hip cool people call other hip cool people so that we might not be confused with hip cool people. Cause that would be unhip. Dig?"
-- some guy on Urban Dictionary

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Secret

Why did I create this blog? What did I think I could put on here that would merit the commitment?

What can I say that hasn't been said? The Internet has inflated the anxiety of influence to tyrannical proportions. Uniqueness is overabundant and originality negotiable. Talent is optional, if that means something to you.

The novelty gold rush has dried up with the approaching technological singularity. Our most prolific creative industry, the hell-hated-Hollywood, is an idea recycling machine, an inbred dynasty of aesthetics ordained by the unshakable commercial imperative that now encroaches on the last outposts of human reality.

I have therefore come to the conclusion that localized folkloric circles must be reinstated if the imagination is to survive. The current narrative we have now ought to be reclaimed and placed under mythological domain. The so-called "corporate authors" should not be recognized as such. Ideas must be kept hidden in the earth to ripen, like provincial cheeses. Burn Kraft Foods to the ground.

I hope nobody reads this.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bees


bees are better than people
people can’t build houses by rubbing saliva between their legs

The queen bee tells the other bees how much honey to make.
Beekeepers wear masks to look like the queen
so they can trick the bees into making more honey
Then they take all the honey when the bees are not looking
and then the bees have to start all over again

the worker bees are bitter and oppressed
they toil to build a society just so we can pillage it

bees die when they sting you
the most dangerous bees are the ones that have nothing to lose

in order to sting you a bee must hate you so much that
it is willing to give its life just to
cause you temporary discomfort

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