Monday, September 21, 2009

Jack White and the Kanye Diss

Say what you will about the music of The White Stripes, but Jack White is cool. Here he is at the Toronto Film Festival doing his best Kanye West impression, but he is interrupting the director of a documentary about his band to let everyone know that "Orson Welles made the greatest movie of all time!" (Which I'm sure he must mean Welles's voice performance of planet eating psychopath Unicron in the 1986 Transformers movie)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

College Student Kills Intruder with Samurai Sword

No way this happened. The AP is reporting that a Johns Hopkins University student killed an intruder in his garage with a Samurai sword early Tuesday morning. The report states that the student heard noises coming from the garage and armed himself with a sword before investigating. In the garage, he found a man ripping off some stuff, and the burglar apparently thought it a good idea to attack a dude holding a sword. Bad idea. According to reports, the student sliced off the burglar's hand and cut a large laceration into his midsection. I hope the police are checking into the possibility that the student is the immortal Highlander.

American Indians Hope to Take Washington Redskins to Supreme Court

Here is a recent story I came across from the Associated Press:

"A group of American Indians who find the Washington Redskins name offensive wants the Supreme Court to take up the matter.

The group late Monday asked the justices to review a lower court decision that favored the NFL team on a legal technicality.

The seven Native Americans have been working through the court system since 1992 to have the Redskins trademarks declared invalid. A U.S. Patent and Trademark Office panel ruled in their favor in 1999, but they've since suffered a series of defeats from judges who ruled that the plaintiffs waited too long to bring their suit in the first place.

A lawyer for the group says he'd like to see the court decide once and for all whether the Redskins name defames Native Americans."

Here is an idea: Why don't those pricks in Washington just change the name? It is by far the most racially derogatory professional sports nickname in the U.S. They should change the name to the Washington Rich White Assholes or something like that. It would be more appropriate, since there are more rich white assholes in Washington than their are "redskins." American Indians have been fighting against this for years, and rightfully so. Take a hint from Saint John's University who changed their mascot from the "Redmen" (not even a purposeful reference to American Indians, but to the red uniforms the teams wore) to the "Red Storm" in order to be more sensitive to the concerns of American Indians. Change the name, its simple.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Art of Douchebaggery

I don't really like rap or hip-hop music, but I think Kanye West is good. However, he is just a complete douche as a person. This is the video of him interrupting poor Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards to say that Beyonce is better. For the record, I'm not a fan of Taylor Swift, but Beyonce sucks. When her music comes on the radio, it makes my ears bleed. Since the incident, West has made several insincere apologies to Swift. May I just quote a couple of things West has recently said in an apology, for your viewing pleasure:

"So many celebrities, they never take the time off. I've never taken the time off to really — you know, just music after music and tour after tour. I'm just ashamed that my hurt caused someone else's hurt. My dream of what awards shows are supposed to be, 'cause, and I don't try to justify it because I was just in the wrong. That's period."

If anyone can tell me what the hell that means, that would be great.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

President Obama Faces Hecklers

This is a portion of video from President Obama's speech before Congress the other night, in which he is heckled by Rep. Joe Wilson (R). You can just hear Wilson call out "You Lie!" Watch Nancy Pelosi in the background, it is the best part of this video. You can actually see the exact moment when she shits her pant suit after the interruption. Enjoy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

10 Things You May Not Know About Labor Day

Here is an essay about the origins of Labor Day.

10 Things You May Not Know About Labor Day

On Monday, September 7, 2009, Americans will again celebrate Labor Day. On the first Monday of every September each year, federal buildings close, liquor stores open early, people shine up their boats for a final time that year, and everyone in their red, white, and blue polo-shirts commemorate Labor Day. Like many holidays, few actually know anything about the holiday’s genesis, its founders, or the first time citizens marked the day in their calendars. Still, it occurs every year, whether anyone knows why or not. For anyone interested in a conversation starter this Labor Day, here are 10 things you may not know about Labor Day, in no particular order.

#1: Americans did not originally celebrate Labor Day as a national holiday. The Central Labor Union organized the first official Labor Day celebrations in 1882 without the aid of local, state, or national legislation.

#2: The creator of Labor Day is unknown. Some have argued that Peter J. McGuire, a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, came up with the idea for a labor holiday. Others, however, give the title to Matthew Maguire, secretary of the Central Labor Union.

#3: Labor Day has not always been on a Monday. The Central Labor Union’s first Labor Day occurred on September 5, 1882, a Tuesday. Not until 1884 did the Central Labor Union designate the first Monday of September as the official date.

#4: Oregonians were the first citizens to celebrate Labor Day as an official state holiday. After Labor Day legislation had been passed by several municipal governments, some states began a push to make it a state holiday. Although New York introduced the first bill, Oregon became the first state to institute a state holiday. Oregon’s legislation passed the Labor Day bill in 1887, and by 1894, 23 states had similar bills.

#5: Labor Day as a national holiday resulted from conflict between the federal government and labor unions. In 1894, workers for the Pullman Palace Car Company went on strike. Fearing the detrimental effects that a railroad strike could have on the postal service and public safety, President Grover Cleveland sent in U.S. Marshals and some 12,000 troops under the command of Nelson Miles, a man made famous from his exploits fighting Native Americans in the West throughout the previous decades. Ultimately, 13 strikers were killed and another 57 injured. Cleveland recognized his misstep in angering the labor movement and pushed to create Labor Day as a federal holiday. Only 6 days after the end of the Pullman strike, Congress passed a law to establish Labor Day.

#6: Why is Labor Day in September? Although most today see Labor Day as the de facto end date for summer, the architects behind the holiday did not pick September for this reason. The Central Labor Union actually picked the date because it ran concurrent with a Knights of Labor conference being held in New York, which organizers believed would help promote turnout to the Labor Day activities.

#7: The first Labor Day was more of a protest than a celebration. The first celebration featured a parade in New York City, but the Central Labor Union required its members to march in order to garner support for the 8-hour workday.

#8: What about May Day or International Worker’s Day? Labor Day found a challenge from another holiday known by most as May Day. May 1st marked the commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre in 1886, when a dozen workers were killed protesting unfair hours and calling for a universal 8-hour work day. Although May Day had an origin in the U.S., it has more recently been associated with socialist movements around the world especially in the former Soviet Union. However, Cold Warriors did help to make May 1st a national holiday in 1958, but not for its connection to the labor movement. That year, Congress created Loyalty Day. The legislation for this holiday states that Loyalty Day is “a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.”

#9: Who is celebrated on Labor Day? Technically speaking, all working Americans over the age of 16 are part of the workforce celebrated by Labor Day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 155.1 million workers in May of 2009.

And finally…

#10: The idea for Labor Day came from…the Canadians! As the story goes, Peter J. McGuire, one of the possible creators of the idea for a Labor Day, actually got the idea from Canada. In the early 1870s, labor disputes in the country led to parades in support of the labor movement. These parades continued each year to commemorate the victory that the labor movement had won in Canada. In 1882, McGuire reportedly witnessed one of these parades in Toronto and returned to the U.S. to promote a similar activity.

When you bring the boat in from the reservoir this year after the first Monday in September, you now know that the date is merely a coincidence, not the purposeful demarcation of the end of summer. Regardless of that coincidence, Labor Day has become an important holiday for Americans, and the yearly commemoration honoring the struggles of the labor movement of the past 130 years should not be forgotten while barbequing or watching your favorite college football team’s home opener. So, this Labor Day make sure to be safe, have fun, and don’t forget to thank the Canadians for a day off from work.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Boondock Saints 2 Trailer

Here is the trailer for the sequel to Boondock Saints. A movie that took nearly 10 years to make, and one that probably should have never been made. I don't want to judge before I see it, but here is the score so far. Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus return, but Flannery looks like he has had some shitty plastic surgery and Reedus looks like he is about 20 years older, not 10. Willem Defoe is not returning, but writer/director Troy Duffy has invented some stupid new character who is apparently Agent Smecker's protege. And apparently Duffy is regretting killing off Rocco (probably the best character of the first movie), because he returns in some sort of dream sequence. Throw it all in with a cheesy subtitle and Rodimus Prime himself Mr. Judd Nelson and we might have ourselves a box office smash that really sucks a la Transformers 2. You never know though, it might rule. I'll keep my fingers crossed. BS2: All Saints Day is out in theaters October 30, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bigfoot Perv !?!?

I knew it!!! Shepard Smith from Fox News is the king of on-air f-ups, and his commentary on this video is just plain ridiculous. Enjoy!

Note: I had to repost this video, as the previous link had gone away. I found it again on YouTube, and the person who posted the video there had this to say: "Forget the jokes, this video is interesting. Could a casual sunbather fake this?" (fasanotampa).

Best and Worst Concept Albums

Here is a link to what MSN calls "Rock Concept Albums: Triumphs and Travesties." I am a big fan of concept albums, so when I see a list like this I am always interested. However, I would say that for the most part this list is shit. I mean Green Day's American of the best concept the same league as Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon or the Who's Tommy? That is just asinine. Furthermore, labelling anything produced by Genesis (even We Can't Dance) as a travesty is mind-boggling. Maybe the story in the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway is a bit silly, but what concept album doesn't have a silly story. Have you seen the Tommy movie? Its fairly ridiculous, but incredibly awesome. I would also have to say that calling Rush's 2112 and Floyd's The Wall travesties is also blasphemy. Here is a list (in no particular order) of some concept albums that I enjoy, that are not included on the list.

  • Kezia by Protest the Hero
  • What to Do When You are Dead by Armor for Sleep
  • Leviathan, Blood Mountain, and Leviathan by Mastodon
  • Every Album by Coheed and Cambria (Surprising MSN missed this one considering that they have an interview with the band's frontman on the homepage)
  • Every Album by The Dear Hunter
  • Catch Without Arms by Dredg
  • The Alchemy Index Vols. I-IV by Thrice
  • Trainwreck by Boys Night Out
  • De-loused in the Comatorium and Frances the Mute by The Mars Volta
This is only a sample. I'm sure there is many more that I have forgotten. Let me know what you think about MSN's list and speak your mind about your favorite concept albums. Until next time...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Post

This is the first time I have ever had a blog, but I think I am ready to embrace the 21st century fully. I recently created a Facebook page, after being nearly burned at the stake for not having one. I must have seemed quite infantile when I asked one of my friends "how do you create a blog?" For the record, there is a short video on YouTube. Oh, the wonders of the universe (or the multiverse). In case you are wondering, the multiverse is the hypothetical set of possible universes, otherwise known as parallel universes. Thus, this blog will deal with a variety of issues and all there possible outcomes. I think that is enough explanation for now.