Friday, April 06, 2007

Bad Idea #238

So I was doing my regular perusal of the news around the internet thanks to the good folks at Fark and I found a link to this article on CNN:

Click here.

The link goes to an article about porn addiction. I'm sure it's something that affects somebody somewhere. Okay, maybe not just "somebody somewhere," it affects a lot of people. Okay, you're clearly onto my clever ruse, I have a window open on my desktop with a huge pair of tits that are practically begging me to lick them. Yeah, giant pair of titties on my desktop, I'm looking at you. Thankfully, I'm an accurate typist otherwise these worlds would all be fucked up beyond all recognition. Okay, you got me, I'm typing this one handed.

Wait for it. Wait for it.

Oh god yes!

At this time I would like to thank my proud sponsors at Kleenex.

Okay, but if I can be fucking serious now...

So, if you look at the article I linked to there will be some stats right at the top of the screen. That's what I want you to see. The article itself is not as pornographic as you're probably hoping it is. Now, can anybody guess why I want to draw your attention to the stats at the top of the article?

Is it because you want us to be aware that at any given point in time there are approximately 28,258 people viewing pornography on the internet?

Noooooooo, but you're close. And, if I might just do a little aside here (it's my fucking right as a blogger to have an aside), that number is disappointingly small. Think about it, there are probably hundreds of thousands of pages of porn, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of videos, erotic text, and interactive video games, and, at any given time only a fraction of it all is actually being used by somebody. Now, unless these people, wankers most of them, are multitasking and viewing four or five different pieces of pornography at one time then we clearly have a waste of valuable pornographic resources happening constantly. But that's just an aside. You should open up some porn at this point as you continue to read my brilliant missive so that all that porn isn't going to waste. Back to my tirade.

What I did actually want to draw to your attention, first and foremost, is breakfast.

You mean the breakfast event that was designed for men to talk about how pornography is having an affect on their lives and verility?

Yes, that bit. You are an astute audience if ever I did write for one.

Now, we've all had breakfast before. Isn't it great? You sit yourself down at the kitchen table or Denny's or wherever the fuck you are. In front of you is a plate with a short stack of pancakes covered with maple syrup, maybe a few sausages and some buttered toast or an English muffin, a tall glass of milk. It looks like a fucking breakfast feast, that's what that is. You are about to be thoroughly satisfied. You take your fork and knife and you cut through that first pancake and it's literally dripping with maple syrup, the nectar of the gods, if the gods were all maple trees, and then somebody speaks up:

Hi, my name is Frank, and I'm addicted to porn. I started young, looking at my dad's Playboys and touching myself. I use to shoot loads and loads of hot, sticky cum into an old gym sock and...

And, suddenly, breakfast takes a very weird, very horrible turn for tragedy. I mean, there you are, and you've just stuffed this wonderful bit of pancake into your mouth and it's just so delicious and when you put it into your mouth there was so much maple syrup on it that some of it dribbled onto your chin before some guy named Frank had to go and start talking about splooging into a sock.

How the fuck do you digest food listening to that?

Hi there, my name is Dave, and for me it was always the sick, twisted Japanese stuff that works for me best. I love, I mean, I absolutely love watching barely legal Japanese girls when they shit on older men's chests.

And you've just started eating your sausages.

I like Bukkake! some anonymous weirdo blurts out like that's just something you say to a room filled with strangers.

That milk you just finished sipping doesn't seem so good now, does it?

Now, I'm sure that whoever had this brainchild had good intentions, but there's a time and place to talk about porn and anything to do with male plumbling. If people need help with their porn addictions they need help with their porn addictions. Bravo for trying to be there for them. Breakfast, though you might think that it's perfect for such things, is actually not.

Holy shit. If some guy comes up to me when I'm dining on an exquisite breakfast and starts talking about how the night before he watched a movie where a woman sucked off a zebra I'm stabbing that fuckwit in the face with my fork. There are about 375,234 things you can start discussing at any meal that will make me want to vomit on your shoe and zebra blowjobs are easily somewhere in the top 50 or so. I don't know where it is precisely on the list insofar as rank goes because it makes me want to puke even going through the list, but, trust me, it's there.

It's great that you want to "help" all these people with porn addiction, but couldn't it wait until they're not stuffing their faces full of sausages and pancakes? I don't know. It's just a suggestion. I'm just just trying to help poor people with their meals. Call me a concerned citizen. I have the welfare of innocent eaters on my mind.

In all seriousness, though, only a small fraction of all the porn on the internet is getting used at any given time. A small fraction. That's wasteful. Wasteful, indeed. Make sure you do your part to give all that porn a reason for being there. If there's one thing that makes the internet cry, it's a waste of resources.

If this porn keeps getting wasted like that I'm afraid I'll have to shut down the internet. Don't let it come to that.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Free Uniform? Thanks, But No Thanks, Assholes!

About two weeks ago I was finding myself a few spare moments to eat a very quick dinner after work. I was on my way to the weekly Raving Poets show at Yianni's, but didn't feel much like eating Greek food that night. So anyway, a little bit of time, a quick dinner? I went to McDonald's.

Now, bear in mind that I've drastically cut down my McDonald's intake over the past few years. In fact, I can hardly keep up with all the weird shit they've been doing with their menu (a topic for another rant should be how fast food joints get away with calling their list of barely passable food as a "menu") so in order to get something that I want to eat I decided it best to forgo the drive-thru where I would hold up traffic while I ponder the french fry du jour and other possibilities.

While inside the restaurant I looked up at the menu board and noticed a Help Wanted graphic on the display, which is really no rare sight in Alberta these days, but what struck me about this Help Wanted ad was that it gave a fairly comprehensive list of the advantages of working at McDonald's. The listed off things like scholarships and growth potential, but one peculiar thing I noticed that was also listed was "Free Uniforms."

Free uniforms?

Free uniforms.

You mean to tell me that if I get a job at McDonald's I can get a free uniform?


Holy fucking shit! I can't sign a job application fast enough for that shit! Why didn't you assholes tell me about the free uniforms sooner?

Alright, here's the deal. If the job ad you are looking at touts free uniforms as one of the deal-closing advantages of the job opening you are considering yourself for it's probably not that good of a job. In fact, "free uniforms" should read, if only in your mind, "free corporate whore costume."

Okay, I'm probably being a little too harsh on people who have to wear a uniform to work. Really, they're good people and they're not actually "corporate whores," but it just bugs me, the gall of whoever puts the help wanted ads together to suggest that being required to wear a uniform to work is a deal-closing advantage. It's like the ad is geared toward people who have trouble coordinating their outfits and are looking for an employer who will offer free help for their socially debilitating disease. Maybe it's people who just lost all their clothes in a fire or ninja attack and they need free clothes, any clothes, even McDonald's uniforms just so that their wangs aren't hanging out.

Either way, I just can't see in my mind's eye somebody walking in to a McDonald's restaurant, seeing the Help Wanted ad, noticing the "Free Uniform" advantage and practically jizzing their underwear to fill out a job application based on the fact that they might finally get a job where they can dress exactly like everybody else in the room. I'd even go so far as to suggest that if somebody did come in, jizz their pants at "Free Uniform" and immediately apply for a job, that I wouldn't hire that person based solely on the fact that something is fucking wrong with their heads, not too mention the jizz stains.

The rule of thumb for "Free Uniforms" being listed as an advantage of any given job should be as follows. If the uniform is such that the Chief Executive Officer of the company is willing to wear it to work each day then it's a uniform that can feasibly be listed as being an advantage because the only Chief Executive Officers who would be willing to wear a shitty looking, stigmatizing uniform to his cushy six figure desk job are the same Chief Executive Officers who suffer from something so bad that I don't think I can understand what it is. All other uniforms, then, are not listed as an advantage to a job. It might even be listed as a drawback.

That should be the rule.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A Definitive 200

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has recently released it's Definitive 200 albums list. These are the albums you are supposed to own. I'm not sure how I feel about the list myself. Naturally, not everybody is going to agree with all the selections, but it's a good topic of discussion. Where would you rank some of these albums? Would some of these albums not even rank at all? Are there albums not on this list that you think should be there? I'm interested in hearing this sort of shit.

[author's note: Tool's Lateralus ranks on this list at #123. Not too shabby. Not too shabby.]

Click Here To View The List

Neon Bible

I suppose there are a few of you out there who are wondering why it took me so long to finally get around to posting a review (or my best attempt at a review)of The Arcade Fire's latest album, Neon Bible. It's definitely not a case of me not buying the album as soon as humanly possible, that's for sure. I was at HMV the morning of the release to pick it up as is customary for me when it comes to music releases that I highly anticipate (remember, I did book a day off work just for the day that Tool's 10,000 Days was released). So why the delay in telling you, my gentle readers, what I thought of the disc?

Well, to be very honest with you, I wanted to love the album as much as I possibly could so that I could properly gush over it. In order to do that I had to listen to it a number of times just so that it could emerge from the mighty, practically monolithic, shadow that the Arcade Fire album that preceeded it Funeral I knew would cast. I love Funeral so much that I'm sure I'll be gushing about that one for years and years to come. My grandchildren (or the grandchildren that I one day hope to have) will find it more than mildly irritating to listen to me hype Funeral and that will be decades and decades from now. They will subsequently disown me, but you know what? Fuck 'em! Funeral is that fucking great!

So you can imagine how difficult for me it would be to just pick up any album that would have the gall to try to follow-up such a huge album.

I don't want you to think that the album didn't appeal to me at all when I first heard it. Almost instantly "Intervention" had me hooked, but, truthfully, I bought it as a pre-release single off iTunes weeks before Neon Bible came out so it had some time to sink in. Even though "Keep The Car Running" seems to be the first single from the disc I think it will be "Intervention" that will hook the casual listeners. I mean how many radio-friendly songs out there are built around the sound of a big church organ? 274. I checked. But damn it, this one will be 275!

What Neon Bible does more than Funeral is it brings to the forefront of The Arcade Fire's music an immense sound. Immediately I was struck by how loud this CD can get at times. The aforementioned organ in "Intervention" is grandiose, and it gets even bigger, possibly as big as an organ can sound during "My Heart Is A Cage." But aside from the organ, horns come to life in "An Ocean Of Noise" and strings almost drown lead singer Win Butler's voice out during the Bruce Springsteen-esque "(Antichrist Television Blues)."

Gone, though, is a lot of the romance that really made Funeral so stunning for me to listen to. And at first I was actually a little disappointed by that, but now I see it as necessary. The subject matter that the band is dealing with here is actually quite a bit darker, but ultimately I think the message that comes through is that there is redemption to be had. The romance that I detected in Funeral had a time and place and it was on that album. This album is a completely different beast and has its own voice and messages to convey. There is a bleakness that seems to haunt a lot of the music here:

"Mirror, mirror on the wall,
show me where the bombs will fall,"

Win Butler closes "Black Mirror" with. He then goes on to sing:

"Oh God! well look at you now!
Oh! you lost it, but you don't know how!
In the light of a golden calf,
Oh God! I had to laugh!
Take the poison of your age
Don't lick your fingers when you turn the page,
It was wrong but you said it was right,
In the future I will read at night."

in Neon Bible's title track. This is bleak. And, sure enough, as the album nears its end the message becomes more uplifting; its ultimate optimism starts to show.

Which leads me to a somewhat interesting aside about this CD. The second-to-last track on the disc is "No Cars Go," which puzzled me by its inclusion since it was a song that was released on a prior recording by The Arcade Fire, in particular, their self-titled EP, which even got some more widespread commercial appeal in a reissue after the band became a critical darling. So it was odd to see a song that was already released being re-release, albeit arranged slightly differently than its first incarnation. However, in the scheme of Neon Bible's evolution, it's a song from the catalogue that fits in the cycle perfectly, being the last song before the culmination of the album.

The culmination comes in the form of "My Body Is A Cage" and it's my favorite track on the disc so far because its the biggest sound and it erupts from such a humble start. But the message of redemption is its most painfully obvious during this last song. And climax? This song has climax in spades:

"Set my spirit free!
Set my body free!"

You have to check this album out. It comes with my highest recommendation.

I'll leave you with a video that I found on youtube of an unofficial music video some guy made for "My Body Is A Cage" out of ripped footage from Once Upon A Time In The West. I love how technology is letting people do stuff like this. It's strange to see this song played over a gunfight, but it seems to work. Check the video out even if you just want to hear a good song.