Thursday, December 27, 2007

Your New Year's Resolution

In the book Jitterbug Perfume, Pan, a centaur-like God loses power as the number of his human believers dwindles. The argument made by author Tom Robbins, by way of fantastical novel, is that the things that are important in life aren’t the actual thing but rather the belief in the thing.[1]

The Superhero Complex is the belief in that thing in all of us.

We all have abilities that we believe are exceptional. Skills like cooking, painting, decorating, arguing, dressing, trading stocks, anything under the sun that we (a) really enjoy doing and (b) think we are uncommonly good at.

The Superhero Complex is the belief that in one area of our lives, in one specific way, we are extraordinary. The Superhero Complex needn’t be confirmed by any third party or objective source, it need only exist within the individual.

The Superhero Complex in all of us is what is great about humanity. It isn’t that we are all actually great or extraordinary at something it is that we believe we are. The pursuit of the Superhero Complex activity is the purest and truest way for each of us to spend our time. The loss of the Superhero Complex is the saddest fate that can befall an individual and has led to untold misery.

My Superhero Complex is my belief that I have ideas that are worth sharing. I share these ideas through this space and the point isn't whether or not I succeed in garnering a wide readership but the pursuit of my Superhero Complex. When I write and when I post I am feeding my Superhero Complex and that is the most important aspect of the complex and its universal truth. We are our happiest when we believe in our Superhero Complex and pursue that in which we believe.

For my New Years resolution I am pledging to pursue my Superhero Complex with greater vigor. I recommend you decide what your Superhero Complex is and go after it like the pro you think you are (even if no one else does).

Because God only ceases to exist in the hearts of those that don’t believe in him.[2]

[1] This assertion could be entirely wrong.

[2] I’m one of them (kind of).

Friday, December 21, 2007

10 Things I Would do if I Were a Famous Rapper

The great thing about being a famous rapper is that I'm essentially supposed to be as self-indulgent as possible. Even things that I might not actually want, I have to indulge myself so that I seem excessively indulgent. Not all of us famous rappers actually care about having chrome rims (note: I could be entirely wrong about this) but we all roll on 22's. Not all of us famous rappers think men should wear diamonds but we all rock so much ice we could be glaciers. So I put together a list of excessively self-indulgent Things I am Going to do Because I'm a Famous Rapper:

10. Hire a band to follow me everywhere playing my own personal soundtrack. (eg. when I'm running they play Hustlin' by Rick Ross (while running behind me). When I'm tagging one of my bitches they play Biggie's I'm Fucking You Tonight, when I'm making sweet love to my hood rat chick they play Marvin Gaye or Bill Withers etc.)
9. Commission a cologne that smells like money. (After writing this I googled "money cologne" and found this).
8. Wear excessive amounts of said cologne.
7. Have women crawl behind me wherever I walk.
6. Have women walk in front of me throwing rose pedals in my path.
5a. Purchase a small building in Time Sq
5b. Knock the building down
5c. Erect a bronze statue of myself in its place
4. Not carry a cell phone
3. Tattoo a $100 bill on my forehead.
2. Have gold bullets with my initials engraved on them in platinum.

And the number one thing I'm going to do because I'm a famous rapper and need to be self-indulgent is...

1. Kidnap 50 Cent and make him work a desk job.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rehashment and Endorsement

I forgot to mention something in yesterday's post. The Princeton story provides a good test for journalists who wish to present information in a fair and balanced manner (which having gone to journalism school, I know few do). The test is simply this: If the crux of a politically divisive story turns out to be flatly false, are you still be happy with the way in which you reported it?

Obviously a journalist should never be happy with reporting false information but in a case like the Princeton story a reporter has no choice but to report the information available. As long as its done in a manner that is free of bias their conscience should be clear and they should be happy with their work. Too often a sense of glee pervades the reporting of stories that favor a certain perspective. Good journalists avoid that crutch.

On another note, I just realized that you can listen to all of Okkervil River's fantastic fourth album, Stage Names on MySpace. Wonderful record by a very good band, check it out if you have the time.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Why is it called "overheard"? Question mark?

It should be "overlistened". Most people pay far more attention to conversations they overlisten to than those they are involved in.

For the uninitiated: Overheard in New York

On the American jury system:

I took the Are you a Political Radical quiz on blogthings (a killer killing-time site) the other day and ended up in an argument over whether people on a jury should be able to vote "not guilty" if they think the law is wrong. I am absolutely in favor of this practice.

We live in a society that is highly stratified politically. A cursory glance at America's 43 presidents reveals a striking similarity. The fact that they're all white men says a lot about racism and sexism but it speaks even more to a socioeconomic divide between those in this country that make the decisions and those that are forced to live with them (which also says something about racism and sexism but I'm getting off topic).

If we the people are unable to get elected those that express our beliefs through the channels allotted to us by the forefathers (well at least to the white land owning males among us) than we must assume power through other means.

If I am in a jury box, yawning through a trial, and the man that awaits judgement in front of me is being tried for marijuana use and/or distribution, there is absolutely no way that I am convicting. Period. (Quick aside: Wouldn't it be funny if people started using that prop for other punctuation marks? Question mark? I really think it would! Exclamation point!)

Those that argue of the dangers of runaway jurors talk about the structure of government and the importance of law and order but sometimes the government is plain wrong. And if a person truly believes that the accused is not guilty of a "natural" law then they have a moral responsibility to vote not guilty. Just as one would have had the moral responsibility to do so when abolitionists were being put to trial for abetting slave escapes or any of the other myriad mistakes our government has made in a little over 200 years.


I've been following this bizarre story about a Princeton pro-marriage student who beat himself up in an attempt to vilify those that opposed him. This is the link to the Princeton Conservative blog site.

This is the link to the former site of the on-line editor at Esquire, Eric Gillin (among others). They stopped producing new content at the beginning of 2006 but there's a lot there to sink your teeth into.

Being a man who rarely consumes one Guinness but frequently consumes many, I was happy to see that I'm going to be extra healthy.

Have a nice day. Period.

Friday, December 14, 2007

WTF Mate?

I accidentally own a pair of Seven jeans. I hadn't realized they were Seven jeans when I bought them and may have reconsidered the purchase due to my antipathy toward flashy designer labels but nevertheless I own a pair of Seven jeans.

I am lazy. I pay people to do my laundry, they wash it, dry it, and fold it for 60 cents a pound. It's almost as cheap as if I were to do it myself, but still I have to actually bring the laundry to the laundromat (which is 32 steps from the front door of my apartment). I did this yesterday for the first time in several weeks.

I am not wearing any underwear. Not in like a sexy Sharon Stone kind of way but in a "I don't have access to any boxers because all of them are at the laundromat" kind of way. And the point of this whole, seemingly pointless, string of words is that Seven jeans are uncommonly comfortable commando pants. I'm free and I'm lovin' every minute of it! Kudos to Seven, you may sell exorbitantly priced jeans and probably exploit child labor to do so but man do you guys make a nice pair of pants to wear when your not wearing any underwear.


There is a BMW showroom on Wall St. that I walk by everyday on my way to work. There is a sign on the store that says something to the effect of "No dogs allowed except dogs for the visually impaired," this intrigues me greatly. Are there allot of blind people looking to purchase BMW's in Manhattan? Are any of the people reading this sign visually impaired? Do people often take their dog for a walk and decide to buy a BMW? These questions plague my daily commute.

In summation:

I'm going to be a contributing writer for Dance Retailer Magazine. I am uncertain what that will entail but I imagine it will include exposing the dirt of the dance retail industry. Frankly for too long the dance retail industrial complex has corrupted the minds of our youth and I'm just the man to put them in their place. The first and last sentence of this paragraph are true, have a good weekend.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Warren Effect

Everyone has a retard thing. A retard thing is the lack of knowledge of a fact or bit of wisdom that is so utterly common it makes others laugh with scorn when they learn it has passed by their conversation partner.

The retard thing lurks in the recess of the brain, looking for its baseball, waiting to strike an unsuspecting victim. Sometimes the retard thing is so pervasive that it returns even after the initial slip up, further haunting its victim.

My retard thing is that I often confuse the word animal for the word mammal. I don't know why I do this and it invariably draws the ire of my conversation companions but I'm still always hesitant to use the word animal when referring to fish or reptiles.

Another example - within the fish er animal kingdom - a friend thought that tuna was the food name for dolphins (eg. venison; deer). (Aside: this was my friend Miguel Bonaparte, who said this while actually eating tuna, I love the fact that animal activists are all up in arms about tuna fishermen catching dolphins in their nets and not releasing them while Miguel actually thought he was actively eating dolphins).

Other examples include: A person who thought "soap operas" were called "sobapras"; a person who thought that Costa Rica was an island until a year ago because it's name sounds island-like; the common misconception of "intents and purposes" for "intensive purposes"; etc.

Two other notes:

Anyone familiar with Nip/Tuck or the OC is familiar with AnnaLynne McCord the young sexpot placed on both shows to stir up controversy and frustrate aging virgins. What those familiar with her may not know is that it is very, very difficult to find her age on the internet. (If you want to try for yourself, go now, I'll wait). It took me nearly 30 minutes before I came across this link which puts her age at either 19 or 20 years-old depending on her birthday. I find it to be really interesting that her or those that represent her (or Nip/Tuck) have gone to such great lengths to disguise her age.

And finally, congratulations to my New York Football Giants for setting the NFL single season record for most headlines that employ the word "escape" when describing victory. We couldn't be prouder fellas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Potter's Post

When I don’t know what to listen to I have a couple of handfuls of albums I listen to that I know will keep my attention and require little commitment of thought.

Kill the Moonlight is one of the aforementioned and this made me briefly think of you. This also gave me a reason to open up a word document and quite literally use you to un-board myself. And because of this, it made me mull something over that may be interesting to you and two or three other people I know – not that there aren’t others ironing their favorite tie while listening to Cream or Interpol or even the Ramones that wouldn’t also find this interesting – it’s just that I don’t know them and I don’t want to, because anyone ironing a tie while listening to Ramones has to find another job or at least a second job that will make them satisfied.

But I don’t think everyone has two handfuls of albums they can listen to when they don’t feel like deciding what to listen to. I assume you aren’t one of these people and I encourage you to play this little game yourself – how many CD’s would you grab at and both have memorized the content and not care that that content may not in anyway be pertinent to the present situation.

I’ve driven on a sun-drenched desolate road on the rural side of Waldo County Maine, wind lining in through the sunroof across my forehead and forking out the front and rear open windows, and listened to Johnny Cash kill himself with a smile on his face. I can study to Rusted Root without losing my place on the page. I can wake up to Rage and eat breakfast with the Times without making that lacquered plaster/aluminum scratch a knife makes when it’s handler is too emotionally angry to not look ridiculous while sitting at table.

Now this might be a point in which you think, how terrible. He doesn’t find emotion in music. That is anti-symptomatic of music lover’s plight. But you didn’t let me finish. I’ve also sang to a bartender, ‘fuck you I won’t do what you tell me,’ because she scathed at me to stop studying her breasts and spent the rest of the night repeating the inspirational words, ‘people of the sun, it’s coming back around again,’ again and again.

[there is a large blank space here in which I think I was supposed to make an argument – I didn’t, so just keep reading and don’t think so much]

My possibly complete, but it’s unlikely, list of all-purpose CD’s:Kill the Moonlight, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Ten, August and Everything After, Rage Against the Machine, Hot Fuss,Graceland, The Concert in Central Park, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, American Beauty, Elephant, London Calling, Billy Breathes, Hoist, A Quick One,Tough Gong, Mellow Gold, Audioslave, Purple, Nirvana Unplugged, Kristofferson, Appetite for Destruction, Funeral, Best of the Talking Heads, White Blood Cells and Is This It (that was fun, you should really try it).

I count 26 – which is extremely weird because that is my lucky number, and the lucky number of every rugby player to go through [edited] in the last 15 years (the rugby house is on 26 [edited] Street; one time Waldo Italiani won $3200 by betting variations of 26 on Keno the first time he ever played Keno; I’ve won perhaps $3000 betting 26 at Foxwoods, etc.). I’ll take a minute or more to explain the roots of when each of my choices became untouchably important:

I became obsessed with Kill the Moonlight when I was at [edited] and the schlockrod (the name of the blue olds cutlass sierra I beat to the ground) was stuck in as now bank on the bottom of the driveway at 26. I traded time shoveling around the car and sheltering myself from the 10 degree weather inside the warmth of the schlockrod. I listened carefully to Spoon while I watched liquid dirt seep through the floorboards of the car – and was both moved by the music and the previously unknown phenomenon of melted snow’s ability to enter a car through its bottom.

Bowie b/c no one can understand what it’ll be like for the world to end and thought experiments make me strangely contented.

Ten because the first time I remember saying ‘fuck’ in front of my father was when [edited] and I were in Maine in October putting the dock in the water and jumping into the lake while singing ‘Even Flow.’ And because without that album I’d be a completely different person and probably love Justin Timberlake.

The Counting Crows because I actually can admit I cried at their concert and because I was caught by a Jones Beach Park Ranger having sex with [edited] in the front seat of my car outside the aforementioned concert (which reminds me: were you at that Alman’s concert when the beer cooler broke and a man yelled ‘beer for all’ and40 people swarmed and scavenged all the beer Olie bought at Sunny’s?).

Rage because I like to pretend they were special to me when I was younger, but actually I was scared of what they were saying, and only later when I was in Barcelona for the first time and I read the lyrics in full to ‘Fuck the Police’on the side of a wall did I think that maybe this was a band I could now identify with.

The Killers for obvious reasons to any one of us who has soul but isn’t a soldier.

Paul Simon because he was one of the few artist that my whole family could agree upon when driving to Maine as a child (Billy Joel, Meatloaf and the Carpenters are the other), and I thought even then that mixing music from two completely different cultures successfully deserves merit (Graceland) and I thought it was cool that my parents would let us listen to him when he would say ‘lose joints’in public (The Concert in Central Park). And I have a distinct memory of telling one of my mom’s friends that Richard Cory was my favorite song because he happened to put a bullet in his head – and it taught me at a young age that Republicans aren’t all happy with their lives. And I learned a lot about my mother when she thought the Boxer taking comfort in the arms of a prostitute was understandable and not deplorable.

The Flaming Lips because as I mentioned with Bowie, thought experiments and albums that tell a story are made to be listened to all the way through.

The Dead because I literally watched my metal-head devil worshiping sister and brother take a u turn and idolize the habits of Jerry Garcia rather than Gene Simons.

The White Stripes because without them, the Goo Goo Dolls (or their inspired replacement) would probably still be considered the best band in American Rock. And because Jack White speaks to relationships the way I think about them in my head when I’m alone but would never say to the one I love at the time.

The Clash because discovering them was discovering that I liked music.

Phish because I hadn’t smoke pot until just after college because I detested drugs because my family had been so affected my them, but wanted to partake –so I just went to Phish shows and got contacts highs – seriously. And because [edited] wrote his essay to get into Hopkins while high drinking a handle of rum while in a hotel room in Auburn, Massachusetts before a concert.

The Who because they figured out operettas could be put to rock music and the aforementioned albums by Bowie and the Flaming Lips would have never have happened otherwise. And because I’ve never been one to put posters on my wall, but I had a Who poster on my wall junior year.

Marley because finding peace is something I’ve always idolized, because I have no idea how to do it.

Beck because I found something that my parents wouldn’t let me play in their house.

Audioslave because I felt angry and they let me be angry and discover emotions at the same time.

STP because I learned how to rock out to them.

Nirvana because they changed my life and they’re the most important band of our generation

KK because he kept me sane while studying for med school tests – and allowed me to feel alone because no med student knows who he is.

GnR because they were the only band that my sister made me listen to that I actually wanted to listen to (and Pink Floyd – but I was too scared to sit through a whole album when I was 6).

The Arcade Fire b/c Bowie says so, but also because they represent something entirely new to me even though they use concepts that are entirely unnew; and they sing a song about Haiti so I guess now I’m obliged.

The Talking Heads because the way they get weird is the same way I like to get weird at 4:30AM.

The Strokes because they (along with the aforementioned WS) changed rock for the better – and I once drank a fifth of JD with [edited] listening to the album for the first time – and they were the first band I saw on Conan that hadn’t yet released a major album and then did because of their appearance and so I started to like Conan a whole lot more.

Maybe I’m right and am special for trying to find 26 albums I can listen to in any situation; maybe I’m wrong and am even more special for trying.(I blame this email on Chuck Klostermann; I’ve now actually read every word he’s written in a book and I still like him – this makes me question if I might not like myself)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Dont you feel it growin, day by day Part I

Last week my friend Potter sent me an email recounting the 26 albums he listens to when he can’t decide what to listen to. This list included many great records, was very well written and highly entertaining (with permission from Potter, ie. a wave of his sorcerers wand, I’ll post it in this space). But the premise doesn’t actually work for the way I listen to music. I tend to take between 7 and 14 listens to love an album during which a 5-step process occurs 1) I listen to the record once through and find a couple tracks I like 2) listen to those tracks a few times while my taste for the other tracks grow in concentric circles (ie. if track 4 kicks ass I’ll probably like tracks 3 and 5 before 9 even if it’s a better song) 3) I have a startling revelation that the record totally kicks ass from play till stop 4) I listen to it 4 times a day for 2 months 5) I ween myself off only to return when a track surfaces somewhere in my grey matter and possibly starts the cycle over again.

This cycle has probably happened two to three times a year since I first consciously heard Michael Jackson argue about the genetics of an infant in falsetto sing-song. Below are a few albums I distinctly remember devouring like a pothead with Funyuns in chronological order from when they entered my realm.

Michael Jackson Thriller – I liked Thriller so much I choreographed a break dance to the entirety of Billie Jean and used to perform in front of the summer camp my father ran. I was 4 at the time.

Snoop Dog Doggystyle – Fast-forward to the impressionable days of middle school when all I wanted to do was drink Tanqueray and bang bitches in my parents’ living room. I must have listened to Lodi Dodi about 5,000 times.

Hootie and the Blowfish Cracked Rear View – Not only were Hoot and the Fish the first band that I ever saw in concert, but CRV was the first CD I ever owned. My first CD player woke me up every 8th grade morning with Only Want to be With You and while I may joke, I look back on that record with a great deal of fondness. The perfect album for the time, never would have made it in the cynical world of now (both my “now” and the collective “now”).

Dave Matthews Band Under the Table and Dreaming – I’m not sure if I listened to this record because I liked it or because everyone I knew liked it but I still know that Ants Marching is on by the second drumbeat.

G Love and Special Sauce Yeah, It’s That Easy – Tower records used to be one of the only record stores with listening stations (when Tower Records used to be a record store). I was walking by one that had YITE for listening and as my nickname at the time was G Love, I felt obligated to check it out. Four tracks and 18 minutes later I was on-line on my way to an extended love affair with a black sounding, Philly born, prep-school raised, lanky, white, blues singer.

Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique – my personal favorite BB record and definitely the most critically underrated in their collection. I remember arguing that Paul’s Boutique was a superior record to Check Your Head in my 11th grade physics class. I do not remember anything else about 11th grade physics class.

Be back on Monday with part II (which has much better music, I promise)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Katt Williams American Hustle Intro

I can't believe how funny this dude is and I just learned about him last night. That's poor form on my part. This video is part of a larger movie/stand-up dvd that is not to be missed. Also that song is Hustlin by Rick Ross and my loose leaf white ass worked out to it everyday for a good two months so that opening is spot on.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Like a Fine Wine

It takes a long time for a person to realize they're young
- Pablo Picasso

Last night I went to Radar Magazine’s toast to the “New Radicals” - not the band - which they were billing as a celebration of the “most exciting rogues, renegades, and rule-breakers of the year.” I don’t know about all that but Ed Koch was there as well as Bret and Mel from Flight of the Conchords and a bunch of people who wear funny hats and feel comfortable with open displays of homosexuality.

The event was held at the newly renovated New Museum (I could devote a whole post to complaining about this name but for readability sake I wont) and there was an open bar which proves that you don’t only get what you give.

I got plastered on free Svedka vodka, and stumbled around trying not to knock over any of the coke heads. At one point I thought I saw John McEnroe and then I realized it was just an old guy. That was the type of party it was. Everyone was young and everyone was trying to see famous people. There is a certain look people assume when trying to see famous people and it requires they look through everyone who is not famous. Many of the individuals at the party struck me as the type of people who always look through everyone who is not famous.

Anyway, the party was generally forgettable much like the magazine which I always confuse for a music mag but the McEnroe incident did get me thinking about age.

One day last summer I went out to the east end of Long Island to visit my grandparents. We were all sitting in their den when my grandfather complained that often times he doesn’t hear what my grandmother says because the pitch of her voice is not picked up by his hearing aid to which I said “it’s either that or the 60 years of marriage.” For the next three seconds (the longest of my life) there was dead silence in the room and then thunderous laughter from both of them.

They laughed because they thought it was funny but more importantly they laughed because they would have laughed at such a joke for their entire lives. I’m slowly coming to realize that we’re always the same. No matter how old I get I’ll always be the same person as I am right now. Getting older might change my activities and behavior but it is not going to change my outlook on life or who I am at the core. I’ll still laugh at the same things I think are funny now and I’ll still get angry at the things that anger me now. And as far as behavior goes I’ll still want to get drunk and flirt with pretty girls. The fact that I wont be able to is inconsequential because I’ll still want to do it and that’s what really matters. That’s who I really am.