Community is Streets Ahead
Last year, three shows came out competing for best comedy newcomer award: Glee, Modern Family, and Community. In the beginning, Glee pulled away at the top of the class with its musical numbers, its distinct take on high school popularity contests, and some very balanced emotional weight. *Spoilers* The Sectionals episode, where Rachel has to save the day last minute and Finn finds out that his baby is not his baby was, in its own way, television epicness. Modern Family was like a refreshing remake of Full House bringing common familial decency back to television screens. And then there was Community, a show about a ragtag Spanish class study group.
Where have all the synths gone?
The sophomore album by MGMT is synthless. And this alone will drive away most fans of “Electric Feel,” “Time to Pretend,” and “Kids” from their debut album, 2007’s Oracular Spectacular. But there’s one more thing, there aren’t any pop hit singles coming out of 2010’s Congratulations! Exit dancing hipsters on E.
Not only is the commercial viability of this album weakened substantially by the absence of the “single” but the album was leaked more than a full three weeks in advance of the album release. How did MGMT respond? Well, they streamed the whole album on their website for people to listen to. And the band included this statement along the header of the streaming music page, “Hey everybody, the album leaked, and we wanted you to be able to hear it from us. We wanted to offer it as a free download but that didn’t make sense to anyone but us.”
What the (bleep)? Threats trump Free Speech
So once again South Park is creating controversy. Something creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are used to by now. Except this time they are the subject of death threats by extremist Muslims. Once again, the South Park guys were trying to show the image of Mohammed on television.
A quick recap for those not in the know. South Park aired their 200th episode, aptly titled “200”. A celebration of sorts, it featured many characters from all of South Park’s history. They also brought back that old issue of trying show Mohammed on TV. The next episode of South Park was a continuation of the previous week’s episode. What was weird was that in this episode the word Mohammed was bleeped whenever spoken. The first thing that came to mind of South Park fans was that it had to be a meta-joke as a result of the threats. The ending of the episode had an almost 30 second long bleep section when Kyle and Stan were moralizing the episode. We soon learned that the audio bleeps were not jokes but something Comedy Central deciding to censor any mention of Mohammed. They have literally made Mohammed a dirty word.
There is no reason to use violence or threats of violence if you disagree with someone’s viewpoints. Muslims will tell me that the reason they don’t have drawings of Mohammed is because it leads to idol worship. It would take away from the worship of Allah (that is my understanding of it, please feel to correct and/or elaborate). And that is fine. I understand it. But when extremists say that people should be put to death for doing that action is wrong. Wrong. Just plain wrong. It is just another example of people using religion to impose and strike fear.
If it don’t make dollars, then it don’t make sense…
You know what’s bad ass? Window-tint. You know what’s even more badass? Dollar-bill-themed window tint that doesn’t tint your windows, but makes you the most interesting person on the road to anyone you pull up next to. This guy gets extra points for being the most awesome George Washington since this guy.
This Awesome Guy has Too Much Time on His Hands
“You guys have a thumbs ups situation over there.”
Apologies to our Lord and Savior
It was a scant few weeks ago that the Steel Closet’s own JessCe posted a list of “Lousy Lent Ideas.” I commented on that post that I had given up drinking in support of a friend who had done the same. Well, I’m sorry to inform, while drinking wasn’t on the list it was still lousy enough to fail as a goal.
So here I am, only three weeks down and down for the count. Like many people, while neither my friend nor I are Catholics, Lent seemed like a fine opportunity to test our mettle. Nothing like a little officially sanctioned period of denial to help steel your resolve, and we were in for the long haul, but just how long would that haul be? As it happens, one of my best friends is a minister, and was happy to give us the low down on the Lenten timetable. Apparently, Lent officially ends once Jesus has been laid to rest the day after Good Friday. So roughly around sundown of April 3rd we could knock’em back till he gets back. It actually wasn’t all that hard and eventually we didn’t really miss it. We both still went out, and at just about any bar we went to we found several supportive people that had tried it themselves, but had completely avoided the bar scene and failed anyway. Even so, we couldn’t help but feel out of place and somewhat unwelcome. For one thing, bartenders are, by and large, completely unsympathetic to your commitment, and don’t give a fat rat’s ass about making it plain that your flirtation with sobriety is a waste of their time. Fruit juice and soda? Coming right up, pussy. And by coming right up I mean I’ll get around to it, because your drink costs less than a bulk-bought napkin and so I assume you aren’t just a teetotaling faggot, but a cheap, no-tip-leaving motherfucker to boot. God bless, drinkslinger.
So I’m eating some Pei Wei last night and I go for a fortune cookie; partly out of habit/tradition, partly because I was hoping for some cheap words of encouragement. I open the thing and, after quickly noting the Chinese characters for “gift” and my lucky lotto numbers, I find this proverb-“A great man never ignores the simplicity of a child.”
[/caption]Hmmmm, you know, sometimes the rays of clarity can’t break through the vague cloudbanks because there’s no sun to begin with. There’s only so much room to operate in the field of tentative statements, and “specificity” is a dirty word, but this was ridiculous. My mind immediately assumed the worst: great men recognize an opportunity when they see one? “Never give a sucker an even break?” No, this was one of those “when really, he’s teaching us” kind of things. There was just something about the way it was worded that I couldn’t let go of. Why bring “great men” into it? Why not just “never ignore the simplicity of a child?” Was an appeal being made here? Why “ignore?” It was probably just an odd translation, but it drove me up the wall, and to scour the internet to call bullshit on other faux pearls. You can find some downright inscrutable sayings in a reckless tour of Asian wisdom. “Add legs to the snake after you have finished drawing it.” Your guess is as good as mine. Since it’s a picture you drew you have already made it your own, so make it anything you want it to be? Here’s another “proverb”(trust me, it needs quotes) complete with translation, elucidation, and correction found on Wikipedia:
“yi ren chi bao, quan jia bu ji”
o Literally: If a single member of a family eats, the whole family will not feel hungry.
o Meaning: The whole family consists of only one person, usually referring to the one not yet married.
o Common Misunderstanding: If one person in the family is happy, the whole family is happy.
Fast backward in time