Friday, August 26, 2005

Self Addressed Stamped Envelopes For All

I read recently on the Internet Movie Database that Echostar Communications Corporation, which operates the Dish network in the United States will begin a promotion that would see any town that permanently renames itself Dish receive free satellite receivers in every one of its households so long as the town applies for the promotion by November 1. Wow. That's so generous.

So let me get this straight, Echostar Communications Corporation, we sell, as a township, our collective dignity by giving ourselves a suck-ass name permanently and you, in turn, will give us free satellite receivers so that we have, at our fingertips, 500 channels of horseshit? Fucking awesome! Where do we sign up?

And you just know that the satellite receivers probably don't cost a whole hell of a lot to the company itself. Most of them are probably refurbished. Not only that, but Dish network is a subscription service, so while the receivers may be free, pretty much anything that you would want to watch with them will cost you. So the corporation gets to use your town as large scale advertising space and a big, old publicity stunt and you get to watch reruns of "Who's The Boss" and "The Price Is Right." Yeah, you have fun with that, assholes.

Let me take this opportunity to announce my newest promotion. That being that I will gladly supply a lifetime supply of self addressed stamped envelopes to every citizen living in a town that permanently renames itself Michael Appleby Town. Why the self addressed stamped envelopes? Naturally so that every single one of you can mail me money for being the magnificent motherfucker that I always am.

You see? It just doesn't sound right. That's essentially what's happening here, though.

I just hope that whichever towns do take part in this get all of their citizens together in one location for a huge group photo of the whole town posing with their free satellite receivers and yelling

We love "Who's The Boss?" and the "Saved By The Bell Channel." Don't call us corporate whores!

I would just love to look at a group picture of all those happy people with their happy little satellite receivers and have myself a good laugh.

Knobs.

More On Tom Sizemore

Not to get all nitpicky about people's turn-ons and turn-offs, but who the fuck out there is thinking:

Oh my god! Tom Sizemore has a sex tape?!?!?! I'm so getting that! I just about creamed my pants when I heard the news! Oh my god! Oh my god!

Am I that much a troll living underneath a bridge that I don't really care to see Tom Sizemore having sex?

Yes, Michael. Yes you are.

I thought that I might be.

Everybody Wants To Be A Pornstar

The other day when I was ranting about Martha Stewart's cavernous vagina I mentioned the rather contemporary trend of celebrities to have sex tapes "leaked." I say "leaked" because whenever stuff like that is "leaked" I get highly suspicious of how much of it was a "leak" and how much was in fact "futile attempt at securing another 15 minutes of fame." That's another story. What I want to get at tonight is something disturbing that I found on SomethingAwful the other night regarding a "leaked" sex tape starring Tom Sizemore.

That's right, gentle readers, Tom Sizemore has a sex tape.

If you read the little scene by scene review of the, what promises to be, infamous sex tape you will likely stumble over the same part that I did. That part is, of course, how Tom Sizemore has a tattoo above his penis that reads "Heidi" for the Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss, whom Tom Sizemore was involved with and later charged with beating up.

Now the whole notion of getting a lover's name tattooed on your body is, by no means, new. Tom Sizemore isn't the first man to take a chance on a relationship lasting forever by tattooing a lover's name on his body.

But here's the thing, if you're capable of beating your lover physically, why the fuck would you get her name tattooed on you? That doesn't make any sense. Because you love her? I mean, if you beat the woman, didn't it occur to you that maybe one day she'd stand up to you and leave your woman-beating ass? Then what would you do with a tattoo of her name? You should really ask yourself before getting a tattoo like that if you would ever beat her up. If you do you should not only not get the tattoo just yet, but you would probably be better off spending money on some therapy to address rage issues because that shit ain't right.

Also, you should ask yourself if you ever intend on starring in a sex tape. If so, you might want to find a different place for a tattoo of your woman's name than right above your dick. That's just weird, especially if you're going to be having sex with women who aren't the woman named in your tattoo.

That's a bold statement about the power of Hollywood monogamy, folks, isn't it? There you are on camera fucking two hookers and right above your cock is your girlfriend's name and she isn't even anywhere to be found. Not that I think you absolutely have to be monogamous. I'm a monogamous guy, but that's not for everybody. Apparently it isn't for Tom Sizemore either. Which brings up another little interesting point, if you don't really believe in monogamy (and if you're dating an infamous Hollywood Madam I can't figure out why you would even try for it) why get a tattoo of some notch in your belt's name?

Finally, if you're a big Hollywood celebrity who can afford hookers and cameras to make your very own sex tape to "leak," why the fuck can't you afford laser tattoo removal? I mean come on! You make millions! Are you hoping that somehow things are going to work out with her in the end, after you finished filming yourself fucking two other women? That's an interesting approach to winning her back after getting charged for beating her, but more power to you if you can pull it off. If you don't want to flip for the tattoo removal, why not at least splurge and get the tattoo altered to look like something other than your ex-lover's name? The nice thing about a name like Heidi is that it's also the title of a classic children's book, and a big screen adaptation. Why not alter the tattoo to look like the movie poster for "Heidi." Wouldn't that look much more appealing on tattooed on your junk than your ex's name? Okay, maybe not, but at least I'm fucking trying here!

In summation, if you're dating the infamous Hollywood Madam and you're capable of physical violence with her, try other avenues of showing your commitment first before you go and get the cock tattoo because there's a bit of a chance that things might not work out in the end. I mean, I really don't want to tell you how to do things, but it could save you a few bucks in the end. You probably could have got another hooker with all that money you saved. It might have been the coup de grace that your "leaked" sex tape needed. Not that I'm a connoisseur of sex tapes.

Snicker.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A Word About The Blog

Most of you probably won't notice this, but I've had to make some adjustments to the settings of my blog. It would seem that my comments are being spammed by automatic posters. Thanks to statcounter.com I became aware of hits to my page that were lasting 0 seconds from various locations from around the world and then I get comments posted by people who want me to check out commercial sites. To help combat the problem with automatic posters spamming my comments feature I have turned on an option that makes it so that whoever posts comments has to take an extra step in the form of word verification. It's a tiny inconvenience for those of you who share comments, but one worth it for those who would rather not be bombarded by spam. I apologize for the inconvenience. I guess this is one of those lessons one has to learn when you start out blogging.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close


So last night (well, more like early this morning) I finished reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I have to say that I absolutely loved the book. It was hands-down one of the saddest, if not the saddest, book I have ever read. I was actually crying by the end of the book if you can believe that. I know you're probably thinking But Michael, you're a raging ball of testosterone; you don't cry. I shit you not, I cried.

The novel follows the quest of a nine-year-old boy by the name of Oskar who discovers a key hidden inside a vase inside his late father's closet. His father was one of the thousands killed in the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Anyway, the boy, who was very close to his father decided that finding the lock that the key belongs to would keep the memory of his father alive just a little while longer. The key was inside an envelope with the word "Black" on it inside the vase and so Oskar decides that it must somehow be linked to a person with the last name Black. The quest, then, becomes to meet every person in the New York City phone book with the last name Black to see if they know the origins of the key and if they can offer any insight into the character of Thomas Schell, Oskar's father.

I'll leave the synopsis at that because I really don't want to give away the whole book. What I have given you is a premise. I will say that what absolutely killed me emotionally reading this book was how absolutely charming the character of Oskar is and his little mannerisms which make him a very dynamic and sympathetic hero. For example, when he does something wrong he punishes himself by giving himself bruises. He writes letters to renowned intellectuals for their guidance and to see if they are in need of protoges. The relationship that Oskar have with his mother is so heart-wrenching to read about at times because there appears to be this certain dichotomy between how the son copes with the loss of his father and how the wife copes with the loss of her husband, which makes for some rather tense arguments that are kind of uncomfortable to read.

Foer really does well as a writer here. I would have to say that this book really makes use of some postmodern techniques. Now I know that the term "postmodern" makes some people squeamish because it's usually synonymous with "pretentious" or "hard to understand," but Foer takes safe chances. He has a couple of pages of nothing but numbers as one character tries to tell his life story by punching it into a telephone keypad, and other pages were text is layered time and time again until it is almost completely blackened. What I like most is how he isn't afraid to change his P.O.V. in the book, sometimes adopting the voice of Oskar's grandmother, and sometimes adopting that of his grandfather. To readers who like their books very linear and straightforward, concepts like these sound like too much hassle to wrap one's head around, but Foer really makes it work in an easy-to-understand manner.

Now that the whole experience of reading Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is done I am left actually missing reading it. It's the kind of book that when it's done you don't want it to be over. I guess that's a true testament to how endearing Oskar Schell is as a character and to Jonathan Safran Foer's ability to write. I highly recommend this book to everybody.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Sometimes Sinister Mix That I Listen To Pt. 1

So I've decided to finally bring you the list of tracks that dominate my ears when I try working on Sometimes Sinister. As you may have noticed by the title of this post this is part 1, implying there will likely be more parts to follow. I'm calling this part 1 because I want to leave it open-ended enough to allow me to throw more tracks your way in the future in case I change my listening patterns somewhat to suit the needs of my poetry on this project. So without further ado, here's a list of songs that I listen to to get me in the mood for sinister poetry in no particular order of importance.

1.) "Someone's In The Wolf" by: Queens of the Stone Age album: Lullabies To Paralyze - This one started it all. I brought this track up in the ten songs that I am currently digging post from last week. Basically, the pacing is tumultuous and the guitar riffs are brutal. Something about Josh Homme's voice suggests apparitions howling through a forest at night.

2.) "Erased, Over, Out" by: Nine Inch Nails album: Further Down The Spiral - This track is a slow burn and has no real progression to it. It's almost drone-like with its sparse electronica and what sounds like distorted samples of somebody screaming.

3.) "A Warm Place" by: Nine Inch Nails album: The Downward Spiral - An eery and slow instrumental offering from Trent Reznor. I love instrumental pieces to write to because it's quite easy for me to be distracted by the presence of a lot of vocals, especially in terms of my cadence. "A Warm Place" seems rather romantic to me for some reason, but the bassline gives it a darker sheen.

4.) "Ripe (with decay)" by: Nine Inch Nails album: The Fragile - Nine Inch Nails music in general has a sinister quality to it. If and when I do a list of further listening into my sinister bend there will likely be more NIN music on there. Oddly enough, Amazon doesn't have this track listed on their entry for the album The Fragile, but I assure you that's where I cull this track from. I'm not sure if the track has been omitted or what. "Ripe (with decay)" is another one of Reznor's instrumental tracks and the guitars, while used sparingly, bring about this sense of urgency in my mind.

5.) "Divorced" by: The Melvins with Tool album: The Crybaby - I think it's funny how Amazon.com's editorial review of this disc mentions that the collaboration between The Melvins and Tool is "sleep-inducing." Granted, the song takes a while to get going into its topmost gear, but once it does I can't see how anybody could sleep to it. The vocals are indecipherable and littered with bone-shattering screams. The highlight of this 15 minute opus is a segment near the end with dueling drum solos. I suppose this could be a sleep-inducing track, a la Amazon's editorial review, but only if you sleep like a baby when somebody is screaming and following all of that up with dueling drum solos over a disquieting drone. I think Amazon's editor is a strange person if that's how he/she sleeps. Well honey, I'm getting a bit tired, lets queue up this mix tape I have of Texas Chainsaw Massacre's greatest screams and some Gene Krupa. That oughta help me get some rest. I think I should apply for work as an Amazon.com music editor.

6.) "Pink Maggit" by: The Deftones album: White Pony - Chino Moreno has some incredibly evocative lyrics. The lyrics to "Pink Maggit" are incredibly violent and evoke some very dark images. "I'll stick you a little / enough to take your oxygen away / then I'll set you on fire / 'cause I'm on fire / And I'm with you alone. / I'm so into this whore, / afraid I might lose her / so forget about me / 'cause I'll stick you." That's just the slower first half of the song. It gets harder and faster after that. And the coup de grace is an ending consisting of a heart beating.

7.) "You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire" by: Queens Of The Stone Age album: Songs For The Deaf - It's almost hard for me to believe this is the same Josh Homme who sings songs like "No One Knows" and "Hangin' Tree," but that screaming is him apparently. The guitars are like chainsaws on this track, growling constantly.

8.) "Here To Stay" by: Korn album: Untouchables - Jonathan Davis can emote so much rage. Korn has fallen by the wayside somewhat since the whole rap-rock fusion died early in the aughts, but this song still gets my adrenaline pumping. The rolling bass line and the growling vocals do so much to convey rage.

9.) "Twist" by: Korn album: Life Is Peachy - Sometimes I wish that I could read poetry like Jonathan Davis sings on the track "Twist". That would make for an interesting show even though most, if not all of the words, would be garbled and enigmatic beneath layers and layers of growling and yelling. A short, but sweet track of Davis flexing some of the lower frequencies of his vocal range. So much testosterone.

10.) "Pushit" by: Tool album: ├ćnima - The lyrics to "Pushit" by Tool are oblique, but they seem to suggest a relationship that is sometimes sinister just like the relationship that I am trying to describe in my project. The lyrical highlight in this song from Maynard James Keenan is "If, when I say I might fade like a sigh if I stay / you minimize my movement anyway, / I must persuade you another way." Those seem to be the words of a man who loves a woman who could feasibly destroy him.

Well, there you have it, part 1 of a sometimes sinister music mix. Compiling this list has proven to be a fun little exercise and a nice little distraction for me. I might just look through my music library and see what I can do to put together some more songs that are worth checking out to put one's self in a sinister mood.

Dematerialized (In Waiting)

Waiting for the telephone to ring.
Waiting to get wind of your whereabouts
from anybody.

I could pace through the area rug,
through the hardwood floor,
through the basement cement,
into the core of the earth.

I could be melted by the magma.
I could be dematerialized
into the atomic structures

in this waiting.

And I'd welcome it.

Anything is better than this.

Watching the steam rise
from a sixth cup of coffee.

Pacing.

Not knowing.