Category Archives: World Affairs

Living In Charlie Sheen's America: Rebecca Black WTF?!?!?

I haven’t heard anything new about psychotic former TV star Charlie Sheen during the past week. Granted I’m not keeping my ear to the ground. Maybe my avoidance of the mainstream media is working. Whatever the case I am thrilled about a Sheen-less week.

Sadly, just when I began recovering from Sheen oversaturation, which is said to have a radioactive effect, someone else filled his shoes as a stadium-sized annoyance. Albeit, this someone else always knows what day of the week it is — something I doubt Sheen at the height of his cocaine suitcase parties knew.

I am referring to Rebecca Black, the 13-year-old voice of the Internet phenomenon “Friday.” Comedian Daniel Tosh introduced the masses to this abomination on his Tosh.O show. The rest, as historians say, is a massacre.

As I write this, Black’s “Friday” video has more than 38 million page views on YouTube. It also has more than 480,000 like/dislike votes. More than 430,000 of those are negative. I can’t think of another video that has drawn comparable scorn, yet been so endlessly watched and buzzed about.

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Tired Eyes Won't Raise The Dead: A Coffeeshop Original

NOTE: While writing this brief poem, which is loosely based on my feelings of war fatigue, I jammed out to some new Fleet Foxes, Kurt Vile, and Toro Y Moi. It’s important to have good music pumping in your ears when you’re writing.

Father Time, when will you rest

It’s 3 a.m. and everyone’s gone to bed

I know the world’s atrocities keep you awake

But tired eyes won’t raise the dead

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Penguins Can Go Insane and Other Herzog-ian Thoughts

Can you spot the insane penguin? Me neither.

Werner Herzog’s film Grizzly Man is not only one of my favorite documentaries but also one of my favorite movies because it studies its subject’s peculiarities in a way that blends surreality with unexpected humor and heart. Plus, it’s REALLY, REALLY FUNNY!

Timothy Treadwell, the documentary’s subject, was a different breed of man. He rejected people to spend his days with grizzly bears and believed that gay men had it easy because they could just satisfy their needs in truck stop bathrooms (Yes, he said this!). Eventually his days ended under the weight of a ferocious grizzly. So it goes.

Anyone who has seen any of Herzog’s movies knows that he is touched by the same borderline insanity that Treadwell was. There is a fierce kineticism about his movies. They veer in any and every direction and oftentimes don’t make sense. But, in spite of this non-linear format, there is a beauty in the unknown Herzog trains his lens upon.

With that in mind, I decided to watch Herzog’s Encounters At The End Of The World, his documentary on Antarctica and the people who work there, last night when I spotted it on Netflix. I credit my friend, Janae, for understanding the gravitational pull Herzog has on me and agreeing to watch the film.

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Lunchtime Thoughts From Corporate Coffee Land

“Strokes album leaked,” my friend/former boss and coworker/forever Baby Bear, Lloyd J. Nelson Trifecta, wrote on my Facebook wall this morning.

This made me happy for two reasons: Numero uno, this means Lloyd has given up his ridiculous policy of not writing on others’ Facebook walls and numero dos, the new Strokes album, Angles, is on the Interwebs. YESSSSSSS!!!!

I’m listening to Angles at a local Starbucks. Right now, I’m just giving it a cursory glance, nothing serious. But it’s not exactly what I expected, which is to say the return to their early days that lead single “Under Cover of Darkness” suggested. I will write more about it later, possibly tonight.

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Brief Thoughts On Today's Natural Disaster In Japan

Today’s earthquake/tsunami along the northeast coast of Japan brings to mind how fragile life is and how quickly it can be snuffed out. Our time is brief.

Even if you’ve never been to Japan — I haven’t — it’s hard not to hurt for the Japanese people on a human level when viewing video and pictures of surging floodwaters carrying away cars and pushing over buildings.

I’ve had the privilege of talking to people with ties to Japan this morning. What I’ve gathered from my conversations with them is they have faith and confidence in the Japanese people to recover from this catastrophic event.

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I read Playboy … for its MLK interview

Dr. Martin Luther King

Playboy subscribers are a funny lot. They are quick to let you know they don’t just order the magazine for the airbrushed nude photos of co-eds and D-list celebrities.

Oh no, they read the articles too. That’s what they say, at least.

I’ve never subscribed to Playboy. The reason is not rooted in any moral high ground. I like the magazine. Playboy routinely features great fiction, articles, and Q&A’s. (God, I sound like a Playboy subscriber. Shakes head.)

I receive Playboy’s daily Facebook updates on my “news feed.” On Monday, along with a link promising to showcase sport’s hottest under boobs ever, Playboy’s feed contained a link to Alex Haley’s interview of Dr. Martin Luther King published in the magazine in 1965, in conjunction with the national holiday honoring the late civil rights leader.

I would venture to guess the under boobs link generated more page views. Sex sells. But even the most magnificent under boobs sag. King’s message of equality, which he outlined thoughtfully in his Playboy interview 45 years ago, continues to endure.

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