Thursday, August 31, 2006 

Show them the goddamned fang

Okay. I know I'm not American, and I know some of you aren't either. But watch this. Only so that you know where Keith Olbermann is coming from when you watch this.

Wow. Just wow. I am too used to thinking of Olbermann as just an ex-sports anchor. I can't justify it even a little, but watching him say what he needs to say makes me feel very, very proud (of being progressive? or rational? or just human?). I just saw it with my own eyes, and I still can't believe he said it on a national news show. He's not Edward R. Murrow, as he himself stresses, but if he's the best American news can do right now I suddenly feel better about their chances.

(Links, and post title, via the ever-essential Kung Fu Monkey)


Sometimes you walk by the good ones

My first shot at our new YouTube column is up today; Ben, Iain, this is the one I was telling you about. I had a lot of fun putting it together, and hopefully so will those who read/view it...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 

10 blocks

Due to our Beloved Leader's current move, Stylus has been updating a little later in the day this week, which somehow leads to me forgetting to see what's up after checking it in the morning. Today we have both the current Jukebox Stycast (I haven't listened yet, but the listings suggest it could have two blurbs from me...) and my review of the new Monster Movie disc. The aforementioned Beloved Leader did quite a great job of polishing the latter up, too.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 

A constitutional re-play of mass production

Excellent overview by Louis Menand of Bob Dylan. Menand has some very cogent things to say about the way musicians understand themselves - or don't.


Whip it, whip it, whip it

This week's singles are up, and except for me not caring terribly much about Julieta Venegas either way all of my blurbs for the week made it in.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 


Also, this is a great little blog with a neat concept. Especially since some of them could definitely be about me.

(via Ben)


And I'm not even mentioning the bowling ball

So yesterday we went to Ribfest for, not ribs, but pulled pork sandwiches. I had one then and one for breakfast this morning (as did Ben); delicious stuff. There was a pretty competant Tragically Hip cover band playing, and it was kind of weird to hear "New Orleans Is Sinking" in public for the first time since Katrina; that song definitely has this weird kind of power now that it never used to.

After that to Wes and Christina's new house to watch the UFC (four out of five matches were pretty spectacular), and then we played Wes' new copy of Dead Rising... sure, you can go do missions. Or you can just spend hours running around a mall stocked with infinite zombies and infinite weapons. On the one hand it can be kind of funny; on the other, it's the purest form of "survival horror" I've ever played, especially once the lights go off and the zombies' eyes start glowing red.

I'm not unequivocally a fan of the XBox 360 now, but it was pretty impressive, especially the way the zombies moved and sounded. And the sandbox aspect of the game was pretty impressive; I would imagine gamers in general love the kind of immersiveness you get with games like this.

Take for example the time I ran around smacking zombies with a succession of park benches (rendering them into kindling, of course). When the last one broke the lights were out and I was suddenly surrounded by a crowd of them but I managed to use a hunting knife to hack through them to the nearest empty store. Unfortunately I discovered this was a toy store, and the only thing I could grab was a water gun and then the heavy, bulky cash register. Using it I manage to bash my way back out of the store; it breaks after a couple of hits so I pull out the water gun and stun the zombie in front of me with a shot to the eyes, giving me enough time and space to run up to him, jump, and kick him in the face. The kick doesn't come even close to killing him, but it sends him flying into the knot of zombies knocking most of them over. I manage to run most of the way through before one lurches up and grabs me, biting me in the neck (unlike a lot of zombie movies and the like, the infection isn't transmitted by bodily fluids or anything like that - as long as you find healing items you can take near infinite amounts of damage without turning); I shake him off, but I'm not doing well. Thankfully I'm through the press of undead and it's pretty clear sailing to the stairs, where another kick jump kick to the face lets me get up to the second level where it's relatively quiet, especially around the coffee shop where I can find food to heal me. From there I can try and find the sporting good store to get a baseball bat, or try to figure out where the hardware store is, or even try and get back to the one actual safe area in the game, but in any case I should probably grab a chair to kill the next couple of zombies I face.

And if you don't think that's a thrilling video game experience, I'm afraid you're beyond my help.


Different kinds of quality

Excellent post by Noel Murray on the end of his a blockbuster a week experiment; he's talking about film criticism, of course, but there are some very salient points for music criticism as well. I'd go on about this a bit, but I am very very tired, for reasons of fun I will detail tomorrow.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 

Noosed and haloed swear words

Somehow I've forgotten to mention my most recent Top Ten for Stylus, now with extra CanCon.

Friday, August 25, 2006 

I got a million things to say

So, I'm in the weird position of being both happier and more angry than I normally am. A friend gave me the Global Frequency pilot (downloaded illegally, ooooooh!), and I finally got around to watching it, thanks to Aaron.

It is more wonderful than I had expected (and I had high hopes) - the moment at the end of this post finally makes sense. I was glad to hear that Aaron came to some of the same conclusions about the whole premise and the bitter, bitter irony of it being killed in its crib as I did.

And that's where the anger comes from, of course. Aaron had to leave as soon as it finished, but neither of us could really talk much about it anyways - it made us too upset. I know where Rogers is coming from when he says "what was I thinking?" but he knows, and we know, and pretty much everyone else who has seen the damn thing knows why he had to try.

Thursday, August 24, 2006 


M-maybe the reason I like Dinosaur Comics so much is that I identify with T-Rex? Maybe even a bit too much?

(by which I mean, fact fans, that I may have said EXACTLY what T-Rex says in that comic at one time or another)

(also, to save myself from the shame of two posts about comics on the interweb in a row, today's Scary Go Round makes me happy)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 

How the fuck did DMX win?

I think all eight of my blurbs made it into this week's Singles Jukebox (and don't forget the Stycast, which I think I've participated in this week), which is always nice, and the crop was pretty good. But still.... see title of this post.



So, uh, dark matter? Is real.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 

Don't be a fool, Billy

I haven't had the time to read the CBC much recently, but it's nice to get back there and see them doing a profile of Simon Williams, the man behind Fierce Panda.

Monday, August 21, 2006 

I try not to link every post there, really

Yeah, yeah, I know, shut up; whatever you think of k-punk and my extreme admiration for the man's work, you have to admit this paragraph is a stunner:

The form of the love song is often that of a letter which is not sent, or should not be sent. (The psychosis of David Kelsey in Highsmith's This Sweet Sickness is that he has no concept that could be such a thing as a letter that should not be sent, a feeling that should not be symbolically transmitted.) The most powerful love songs always turn on the discrepancy between the act of declaring love and the knowledge that the ostensible addressee is no longer there, was never there, and could never be there. Everyone knows that people continue to write letters or to talk to lovers long after the loved one is dead. But, very far from being unusual, this is the reality of erotic love laid bare. To give up the fantasy that there is someone there listening is far harder than giving up the object itself. The converse of this is the horror of receiving love letters or declarations of love: we know is that they are never really addressed to us.

That it comes in the middle of a very good post on Rihanna just makes it more amazing - not, crucially, because Rihanna's music is somehow lacking or unable to sustain the weight of this analysis, but because most people just wouldn't bother. Mark's genius lies very much in how willing he is to treat Rihanna and Marx, Kate Moss and Schopenhauer, Dr. Who and Deleuze as equally real, equally valuable, equally capable of telling us something about ourselves.


"And yet … and yet despite it all …"

I am seeing this tonight. I hope it is just as shitacular as promised.



Via Arts & Letters Daily, a fascinating review of a new documentary on the writer of Story of O.

Sunday, August 20, 2006 

Go die now

The pub crawl was, it is safe to say, a success. We hit 15 bars. I had 16 drinks. I only almost got into a fight in one bar. I hope I wake up tomorrow.

Friday, August 18, 2006 

Behind his eyes he says, I still exist

I'm not exactly going to link to everything I post over the Funky Funky 7, but something this big I probably will. Witness my massive post on Joy Division, after which I feel totally wrung out and probably not capable of saying anything more about them ever again. I can still gawk in wonder at their work, though.

Posted here for a few reasons: It was inspired by a gift from my dad, who would never have seen it otherwise, as far as I know; it's probably the biggest thing I've written in a while, and relatively focused for what is essentially a five page gush; and, I don't know, posterity. Or the closest equivalent the internet provides.

Thursday, August 17, 2006 

"I get it. Very dry, Dad. That's good stuff."

Via PopPolitics, we get this fantastic 60 Minutes interview with Stephen Colbert:

He admits he has what Gary Trudeau called the "boring baritone."

"I have a boring baritone; I have boring hair. Every decision that I've made in my life is the middle decision," he tells Safer.

"You sort of disappear," Safer remarked.

"I hope so. I'm a manila envelope," Colbert replied.

I especially love that they keep saying "Colbert joked" after quotations from him; he's obviously being ironic, but it's interesting that characterizing this as "joking" doesn't quite read right, something the PopPolitics post addresses.



One of the students I work with just pointed out that Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip (whom I am listening to) sounds quite a bit like Ron Sexsmith, someone I am only vaguely familiar with (mostly because what I've heard hasn't exactly set me on fire).

My knee-jerk response was "No he doesn't, because Ron Sexsmith is WIMP MUSIC for WIMPS and Hot Chip is AWESOME."

My actual response was "Huh. You're right."


Process, not conclusion

I'm not actually a fan of Plato's Republic, but this article about it goes into some depth about how and why Plato is generally mis-taken (there's a very nice jab at Leo Strauss in there, for example) that makes it very much worth reading. An excerpt:

We know very little about Plato, and what there is to know is not generally appealing. If he is put in historical context, we may find an archetypal grumpy old man, a disenchanted aristocrat, hating the Athenian democracy, convinced that the wrong people are in charge, with a deep fear of democracy itself, constantly sneering at artisans, farmers and indeed all productive labour, deeply contemptuous of any workers' ambition for education, and finally manifesting a hankering after the appalling military despotism of Sparta.

But as so often with Plato, there is a complication to that picture, nicely brought out in Nietzsche's reaction to the fact that, on Plato's deathbed, he turned out to have been reading the comic writer Aristophanes: "there is nothing that has caused me to meditate more on Plato's secrecy and sphinx-like nature, than the happily preserved petit fait that under the pillow of his deathbed there was found no Bible, nor anything Egyptian, Pythagorean, or Platonic - but a book of Aristophanes. How could even Plato have endured life - a Greek life which he repudiated - without an Aristophanes?"



My review of the fine new Marsen Jules record is up; definitely the most I've enjoyed an ambient album so far this year.


We won three pints, too

So what was supposed to be a relatively quick night out for some wings and beer graduated into full scale 8-'til-2 debauch, complete with the highlight of my night; drinking beer and playing Name That Tune for hours with a couple of the philosophy profs from the department at Guelph (names withheld to protect the innocent). Good times, with some fine gentlemen.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 

Bad news/good news

So, as those readers who enjoy A Touching Display may have noticed, it's been nearly a month since the last episode. The bad news is, as far as Stylus is concerned is was the last episode; the Stycast has shifted its focus a bit, as you may have noticed, and aside from the Singles Jukebox and the group podcast Todd wanted to stick with the more themed shows, which makes perfect sense to me. ATD never had any real point beyond me just playing songs I like, and while I'd like to think it was entertaining (I've even gotten fan mail, on occasion!) I'm not particularly upset about the Stycast moving away from that. To be clear, I wasn't exactly given the bum's rush here. Check out today's Singles Jukebox Stycast, for example, to hear me repping the least popular song in this week's column. Lonely is the lot of the Snow Patrol fan.

The good news is, I still enjoy doing the damn things, and there will probably be an EXCITING ANNOUCEMENT concerning ATD over at the Funky Funky 7 soonish. So if you're a fan, you might want to keep an eye open.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006 

Grand theft Coke

I think the point of this ad (fake or real, I don't care) is that Coke makes you a dangerously delusional, mildly annoying messianic figure. Cool ad, though.

(And, of course, the comic it inspired is incredibly funny. Oh, Captain Suggestible!)


The toys out of space

Browse around here for a bit, ignore the huge range of Cthulhu plushes (I've got one, and am kind of tempted by the GIANT one, though) and contemplate the fact that you can assemble a decent collection of Lovecraftian monstrosities in cuddly form. I'm kind of tempted by the Hound of Tindalos, but am unsure why anyone would want a Shoggoth.


A garden bursting into life

I guess posting has been light; I haven't really noticed. Today we've got a nice juicy new Singles Jukebox where I am, as I expected, the only person who likes Snow Patrol.


Pure gold

You all need to watch this. There's a moment in there. The whole thing is funny, but Rogers isn't exaggerating when he mentions Bill Hicks. You'll know when you hit it.

(and the best part is, the serious point lurking behind the joke is excellent too!)

Sunday, August 13, 2006 


I can't read all of this article, and I'm not sure I'd care that much even if I could. But the title of it is my favourite thing this week: "You are made of space-time"


"Life itself is a quotation" - Borges

This I find a little interesting:

Go here and look through random quotes until you find 5 that reflect who you are or what you believe.

1. If you want to catch something, running after it isn't always the best way.
Lois McMaster Bujold,

2. Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.
Jack Wagner & Lily Tomlin

3. Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.
Bertrand Russell

4. Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you?
Walt Whitman

5. The great tragedy of Science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
Thomas Huxley

As for "tagging" people to do this... you're all tagged. If you read me I no doubt read you (and if not, why not? Do I know you have a site?), and I'm interested in reading them all.

(taken from here, but I don't know that guy - I just stumbled on this randomly)



If you're interested in old, decaying buildings, or photography, or infiltration, or even just Silent Hill, you need to see this. I'm seriously considering getting prints of a couple of these shots for my wall.

Saturday, August 12, 2006 

Before I forget

Speaking of Goth, Stylus' excellent, mammoth Guide To (sheparded expertlyby Mallory) is up right now, and it's finally complete. If you go allllll the way down into the "Essential Goth Recordings" section, you might even see the blurb I wrote for Joy Division's Substance compilation.



Thanks very much to all the people who have said happy birthday, dropped by or plan to drop by tomorrow night, and so on. I am, as they say, blessed. And not just because this showed up in my inbox:

NB. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Goth.

Friday, August 11, 2006 

Heart and soul

So, 25 years and roughly eleven and a half hours ago I popped from my mother's womb, to be followed by Ben 19 minutes later. This year I got mostly money (which is great, and I'm definitely going to buy Sapphire & Steel now), but my dad did get me the Joy Division Boxed set I asked for. I imagine that'll dominate my free listening for a little while.



If you cast your eyes down to the sidebar, you can see the Funky Funky 7 has been given pride of place, and I've finally got a Flickr account. I've only got a few things up right now, but there will be more. Oh yes, there will.


Happy birthday to me

That's right, I've got a whole country rooting for me.


Right conduct

Now, there's a man I'd take business advice from.

Oh, and

If the line about the astronaut alone doesn't make you at least interested in hearing Get Lonely, I really don't want to hear about it. And, of course, when I think of great songs from this album, "Woke Up New" isn't near the top of the list.

Thursday, August 10, 2006 

"but I still love the lil' champs!"

I have manfully resisted linking to the Dinosaur Comics strips for the past two days, but three strips of pure gold in a row is too much for me. Too much, I say (start there and go forward, although that first one is probably my favourite)!

It helps if you know the red voice from the ground is Satan and the black voice from the sky is God. If I ever meet fellow Ontarian Ryan North, I will likely collapse from his genius.



This morning, after decimating the first round of music trivia at the bar last night and not getting enough sleep (...again), my brain is only working at about 3/4 speed. But I don't mean it at all in some sort of patronizing or insulting way when I say that Jonathan Bradley's (now a member of the Seven!) tasty creations are exactly what I want to hear right now. I don't know how many of the archives are available for download still, but everything he's screwed and chopped has been at least interesting, and at it's best (say, Architecture In Helsinki's "Like A Call") has turned a good song into a great one. Plus, you know, it's the modern dub. Or something.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006 

One nation under

This is, well, concerning for a couple of different reasons. Sure, there's the basic separation of Church and State thing, but we've been over that; what really worries me is the way they say "The overwhelming support for both our national motto and the words ‘under God’ in the pledge gives all Americans great hope... CWA joins all Americans in celebrating 50 years of our national motto."

This isn't just the blithe assumption that all Americans would agree with CWA's (often odious) viewpoint; it's an implicit assertion that only those that do agree (and, in this case, are Christians) are Americans.

This is the kind of thing I wake up in a cold sweat about, having dreamt that this kind of rhetoric has made its way North to our country.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 

Everybody knows it's coming apart

So apropos of a couple of interesting conversations I've had recently (and by "conversations" I mean "people who don't mind me gushing about the weird shit I love"), I am moved to once again refer you to k-punk's tantalizing account of the uncanny in Sapphire & Steel, which I am desperate to watch (as one of my unfortunate correspondants put it, "that sounds like either the best or the worst TV show ever"). Thinking and talking about S&S, as well as things like the old Dr. Who shows I grew up with, The Stone Tape (more terrifying to me because I haven't seen it, on which more in a second), other old BBC stuff I didn't get to watch, the Radiophonic Workshop, etc etc gets me excited in an odd sort of way; there is very little that I enjoy as much as wallowing in a particular kind of the weird, at least one branch of which is summed up very nicely by Mark. But note especially one thing he says about S&S:

If the series is remarkable for its cryptic refusal to pander to the audience's demand for explanation, that is partly because it is attuned to the unconscious, to the submerged knowledges that children still possess but which adults have forgotten. On the level of the unconscious, no explanation is necessary. Everyone knows there is something disturbing about clocks. Everyone knows that nursery rhymes are sinister incantations. Everyone knows that paintings contain worlds you can fall into. Everyone knows there are realities a hair's breadth away from our own into which you can step.

Somewhere in here is the connection between my love of the esoteric and half-glimpsed (see also, for example, Morrison's The Invisibles (or even his superhero work*, where the reader is given just enough information to follow along with the madly rushing narrative - Morrison would much rather give you an evocative name for a device so that you craft what it does/is by yourself, see Batman's "Science Fiction Closet"), Philip K. Dick, H.P. Lovecraft, Illuminatus!, The Prisoner, The Crying of Lot 49, hell, Spinoza! - and here you see how this all gets me thinking in such a way that I babble) and my deep, reassuring belief in the power and beneficial effect of the weird (or discomfiting/confusing/uncanny/etc) on the young, which I discuss more fully in a Seconds piece on, of all things, Crowded House's "Into Temptation" that should appear in Stylus this week or the next. Which will be linked to and I'll probably try to make this make more sense then. For now, I'm content to spend time reading up on old ghost stories and strange, internally consistent story-systems (or is that story/systems? - and now we're into hyperstition...).

But, something came back to me as I read about/told others about The Stone Tape last night, or recounted the same stories to Aaron today in the comfort of his office; there is no possible way the actual program could effect me more than it already has in my encounter with the telling of it - in fact, I'd argue it would probably effect me less. Call it the Borges effect - just as he found writing about a novel he could have written more interesting and less taxing than actually writing the novel, telling the stories of these stories are just as effective as experiencing them yourself, in a way. Perhaps even more so. I am as close to certain as I can be that I will love Sapphire & Steel when I finally see it, but also that in some ineffably crucial way it will not measure up to my conception of the story now. There's something here, and it's linked to myth as opposed to reportage, and Camus' contention about the distinction between living and recounting, and also to the efficacy of being distubed by art as a kid - but for now I really need to get back to work and so will leave this thought strewn all over the page.

*Grant Morrison: My DCU is a day-glo, non-stop funhouse, where the world is threatened every five minutes and godlike beings clash in the skies like fireworks


Bat country

This week's Singles Jukebox is up, and aside from noting that Kasabian are barely tolerable with decent production and horns, and aimlessly gushing over that fantastic Joan As Police Woman single, everything I have to say is right there for you.

In other news, last night a bat somehow got into the apartment (absolutely no idea how, there are no holes in any of the windows), and Ben and I can't find the little bastard. We were trying to catch him as he flew around when he just... vanished (we saw where he went, but upon investigation couldn't see even traces of him!), and now this morning we can't find him sleeping anywhere, which was the hope. I'm very tired and more than a little pissy about it.

Monday, August 07, 2006 

Unrealistic ideas behaving like reindeers

Feel good hits of the 7th of August, 2006:

Rival Schools - "High Acetate"
Sugababes - "Push The Button"
AC Newman - "The Cloud Prayer"
The Moldy Peaches - "Nothing Came Out"
Architecture In Helsinki - "Like A Call (Screwed & Chopped)"
Wire - "Former Airline"
Au Revoir Simone - "Back In Time"
Broadcast - "Unchanging Window"
Matson Jones - "Welcome Back, Mr. Audiotechnica"
Lupine Howl - "This Condition"

"Push The Button" is just a massive unreasoning monster of a pop song, isn't it?


It's so much worse than I imagined

I'm so gobsmacked by this article about the... I can't think of a profanity bad enough, honestly, who runs Girls Gone Wild that I can only repeat the words of R. Stevens: "I challenge anyone out there to make it to the end without getting angry or slightly sick at least once."


The asshole motherfucker gods

I try not to link too many of Cary Tennis' Salon advice columns, because (a) I am a huge fan of his work, and I would be tempted to give pretty much each one a spot and (b) I know you have to watch an ad first, what a pain, blah blah blah. But today's is just too good, and reminds me more than a little of John Darnielle for some reason.

Here's an excerpt, but obviously watch the ad and read the whole goddamn thing:

So what do we do? We toughen up. We quit playing patty-cake patty-cake give a dog a bone, we season ourselves, we take the bit in our teeth, we flog ourselves with birch branches, we bitch and moan and howl at the moon and give up our illusions of a soft loving god who hears our prayers and answers them. We board the windows and doors. We wise up and face the fuckers, we quit lying down and taking it, we let go of our prettiness, we prepare for the battle ahead. We say never again will we be caught off guard, never again will we pretend, never again will we believe that this thing we have created cannot be poisoned in an instant by a shit-head god on a bender, fucking up our paradise for his shallow and grim amusement.

Sunday, August 06, 2006 

Plus, you know, sexy time explosions

So Sacha Baron Cohen, the genius(?) behind Borat, is in the new Will Ferrell movie. The CBC has a decent review up, but it's really worth it for the best concise description of Baron Cohen's talents I've read, emphasis mine:

[He's] a marvel, a brave comedian who doesn’t mind extinguishing his own persona and even his face — what does he look like, really? — for the joke; he may be more like Peter Sellers than any other actor of his generation. He also plays with sexuality in a way that American comedians rarely dare. His gay characters aren’t just lisping and limp-wrested, inviting you to laugh from the outside; they are wholly confrontational. Girard uses actual sex talk — many, maybe too many, erection mentions — and yet lands on this side of funny, as opposed to juvenile, because he is so casual, so understated. If Ferrell seems audacious for exposing his lumpy body to comic effect, Cohen ups him by erasing his body altogether.


"Dr. McNinja was not informed of the ghosts when he first bought the property."

I love The Adventures of Dr. McNinja so, so much.

Saturday, August 05, 2006 


So I am now part of the free-wheeling music blog the Funky Funky 7, although there are currently five of us. And one of those five, I've not seen post yet. Started/masterminded by the indomitable Katie, there's a ton of good stuff there already, and if you haven't already heard/downloaded the gobsmackingly incredibly "Crews Against Consumismo" mix of Johnny Boy's already heartstopping "You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve," my first post is there for you. With a Sendspace link.

Friday, August 04, 2006 

Conservation of willpower

This makes a whole lot of sense.

Help lies in seeing willpower as a muscle, recent research suggests. The "moral muscle", as it has been called, powers all of the difficult and taxing mental tasks that you set yourself. It is the moral muscle that is flexing and straining as you keep attention focused on a dry academic article, bite back an angry retort to your boss, or decline a helping of your favourite dessert. And herein lies the problem: these acts of restraint all drain the same pool of mental reserves.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006 

Got to do it

Why is it that even now, five years later, having a car pull up next to me that's playing Andrew WK's I Get Wet puts a broad grin on my face?

In completely unrelated news, the sky to the north of my building right now is easily the evillest sky I've ever seen. I wish a camera could capture it. Sure, the rest of the sky is dark blue and dusky, but to that direction it looks positively malignant. Looks like we're about to be stormed on again, thank god.



After seeing "A Million Ways", I never imagined Ok Go were going to turn the whole dancing thing into something approaching an aesthetic; but the video for "Here It Goes Again" is a hell of a lot of fun. I hope they keep it up (even the part where the guy lip synching isn't the actual singer).


Isolating yet relaxing

An extremely interesting article from the CBC on internet use; a couple of points occur to me, though.

Given the wide variety of what you can do online, should "heavy use" really start at an hour a day?

As the article sort acknowledges, these heavy users both have the same number of close friendships and relationships as non users, and although they may spend more time "alone," it's often while interacting with other people.

Basically, if you're going to be some sort of loner, it's probably healthier to be spending time online (within reason, of course) than it is to be watching TV and rocking back and forth. I like the article and its reasonable tone, I'm just a little worried somebody is going to run with a couple parts of it in an irresponsible direction.


Guilt is a useless emotion

This list of "guilty pleasures" (by Q, of course) is completely ridiculous. Leave aside for a minute that no reasonable person should feel shame for enjoying at least one, two, four and ten from the top ten (a man who is tired of "More Than A Feeling" is tired of life, really), the whole concept of the guilty pleasure should have been taken out behind the barns and shot a long time ago (and in some circles, it has been...).


I didn't think this was what they meant by "heat death of the universe"

When I was a kid, in the very depth of summer 20 degrees was hot and if it reached 25 or, god forbid, 30 you knew it was going to be a scorcher.

Today is, what? Our third day in a row of plus-40 degree weather? It's supposed to break a little tonight, possibly go as low as 20. It will feel like it's freezing, which is awesome.

It's also hotter in my room/apartment than it is outside, most of the time. I woke up this morning dizzy from dehydration after sweating all night. With a fan on me the entire time. Turned to high.

When I'm not at my mercifully air conditioned work, I can't write, can't do housework (except for washing dishes, with cold water naturally), can't work, can't think. Not until this breaks.

The next time someone tells me global warning is just some stupid environmentalist myth made up because, I don't know, Greenpeace hates money or something, I am going to punch them right in the face.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006 

Not exactly Mechwarrior

"LAND WALKER -Japanese Robot suit-It is an economical robot of US$300,000."



This particular CBC new story has a great opening:

Some communities have packs of dogs roaming the streets. Some have geese making a mess of the local park pond.

In Fort Providence, N.W.T., the neighbourhood pest can head-butt a half-ton truck.

Kudos to whichever anonymous newswriter put that together, it's funny without dragging the whole story down into jokey territory. The newswriting at the CBC is generally very good, but this kind of dry comic timing always stands out.


We're in Canada, for pete's sake

This week's singles are up, replete with contributions from yours truly; I'm not going to say much more, on this or any other topic, because it is 43 degrees out (109 in Fahrenheit, fact fans!). I am looking forward to going to work just for the AC.

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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imathers at gmail dot com

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