Archive for September, 2009

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Inanimate Object of My Affection #3: The Portal Script

September 15, 2009

My apologies for this being old news, which as everyone knows is the worst kind of news on the Internet. But as far as I know, I still control the “Publish” button, so enjoy. Dammit.

This is my loving tribute to some of the best dialogue ever written. I won’t qualify it further because that would diminish the impact. It’s from a videogame, but saying that it’s the best dialogue ever written in a videogame seems to damn it with very, very faint praise.

It needs no qualifications. The dialogue is incredible, shot full of dark humor and unexpected twists. You can read the entire game script here, which includes a beautiful ASCII drawing of a cake.

This is all taken from Portal, an amazing platformer from Valve, the makers of Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, etc. The story is basically this: you are a test subject passing a series of obstacles to prove both yourself and the brand-new portal gun viable. You are guided by an AI named GlaDOS.

“Guided” would be a strong word. GlaDOS is a manic-depressive AI with some control issues. It spends its time alternately cheering you on:

“Unbelievable! You, {SUBJECT NAME HERE}, must be the pride of {SUBJECT HOMETOWN HERE}”

belittling your efforts:

“That thing you burnt up isn’t important to me. It’s the fluid catalytic cracking unit. It made shoes for orphans. Nice job breaking it, hero.”

and trying to kill you:

“That’s it. I’m done reasoning with you. Starting now, there’s going to be a lot less conversation and a lot more killing.”

There are vague promises made about a party and cake should you survive, but as you continue it becomes apparent that even if you did pass all the tests, the AI would prefer you dead anyway. Fun stuff:

“You’re doing very well. Please be advised that a noticable taste of blood is not part of any test protocol, but is an unintended side effect of the Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grille, which may, in semi-rare cases, emancipate dental fillings, crowns, tooth enamel, and teeth.”

“Please note that we have added a consequence for failure. Any contact with the chamber floor will result in an unsatisfactory mark on your official testing record. Followed by death. Good luck!”

“Spectacular. You appear to understand how a portal affects forward momentum, or to be more precise, how it does not.”

“The device has been modified so that it can now manufacture two linked portals at once. As part of an optional test protocol, we are pleased to present an amusing fact. The device is now more valuable than the organs and combined incomes of everyone in {SUBJECT HOMETOWN HERE}”

“The Enrichment Center is committed to the well-being of all participants. Cake and Grief Counseling will be available at the conclusion of the test. Thank you for helping us help you help us all.”

“Did you know you can donate one or all of your vital organs to the Aperture Science Self Esteem Fund for Girls? It’s true!”

“The experiment is nearing its conclusion. The Enrichment Center is required to remind you that you will be baked, and then there will be cake.”

“Congratulations. The test is now over. All Aperture technologies remain safely operational up to 4000 degrees Kelvin. Rest assured that there is absolutely no chance of a dangerous equipment malfunction prior to your victory candescence. Thank you for participating in this Aperture Science computer-aided enrichment activity. Goodbye.”

Once you begin to attack the AI itself, the fun really begins:

“What are you doing? Stop it! I-i-i-i-i-… Weeee are pleased that you made it through the final challenge where we pretended we were going to murder you. We are very very happy for your success. We are throwing a party in honor of your tremendous success. Place the device on the ground, then lie on your stomach with your arms at your sides. A party associate will arrive shortly to collect you for your party. Make no further attempt to leave the testing area. Assume the ‘Party Escort Submission Position’ or you will miss the party.”

“Didn’t we have some fun, though? Remember when the platform was sliding into the fire pit and i said ‘Goodbye’ and you were like ‘NNOO WWAAYY”, and then I was all “We pretended we were going to murder you”, that was great.”

“Well, you found me. Congratulations. Was it worth it? Because despite your violent behavior, the only thing you’ve managed to break so far is my heart. Maybe you could settle for that, and we’ll just call it a day. I guess we both know that isn’t going to happen. You chose this path, now I have a surprise for you. Deploying surprise in five… four… Time out for a second. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Do you see that thing that fell out of me? What is that? It’s not the surprise… I’ve never seen it before. Nevermind, it’s a mystery I’ll solve later, by myself, because you’ll be dead.”

“You are kidding me! Did you just stuff that Aperture Science Thing We Don’t Know What It Does into an Aperture Science Emergency Intelligence Incinerator? That has got to be the dumbest thing that- Whoa, Whoa, WHOAAA… Heh heh heh heh… Good news. I figured out what that thing you just incinerated did. It was a Morality Core they installed after I flooded the enrichment center with a deadly neurotoxin to make me stop flooding the enrichment center with a deadly neurotoxin. So get comfortable while I warm up the Neurotoxin Emitters.”

“Huh! There isn’t enough Neurotoxin to kill you, so I guess you win. Ha! I’m making more. That’s going to take a few minutes though. Meanwhile, oh, look, it’s your old pal, the Rocket Turret.”

“Neurotoxin… *cough* So deadly… *coughs* Choking… Hahahaha… I’m kidding. When I said ‘Deadly Neurotoxin’, the ‘Deadly’ was in massive “sarcasm quotes”. I could take a bath in this stuff, put it on cereal, rub it right into my eyes. Honestly, it’s not deadly at all. To me… You on the other hand are going to find the deadliness a lot less funny.”

“There was even going to be a party for you. A big party, that all of your friends were invited to. I invited your best friend, ‘the Companion Cube’. Of course, he couldn’t come, because you murdered him. All your other friends couldn’t come either, because you don’t have any other friends because of how unlikable you are. It says so right here in your personnel file; ‘Unlikable. Liked by no one. A bitter unlikable loner whose passing shall not be mourned.’ SHALL NOT BE MOURNED. That’s exactly what it says. Very formal. Very official. It also says you were adopted. So that’s funny too.”

“Oh, you think you’re doing some damage? Two plus two is… ten… in base four I’M FINE! Look. You’re wasting your time. And believe me. You don’t have a whole lot left to waste. What’s your point anyway? Survival? Well then, the last thing you want to do is hurt me. I have your brain scanned and permanently backed up in case something terrible happens to you, which it’s just about to. Don’t believe me? Here, I’ll put you on… ‘~Hellooooo~’ That’s you! That’s how dumb you sound! You’ve been wrong about every single thing you’ve ever done, including this thing. You’re not smart. You’re not a scientist. You’re not a doctor. You’re not even a full-time employee. Where did your life go so wrong?”

“I let you survive this long, because I was curious about your behaviour. Well, you’ve managed to destroy that part of me. Unfortunately, as much as I’d love to, now, I can’t get the neurotoxin into your head any faster. Speaking of curiosity, you’re curious about what happens after you die, right? Guess what? I know. You’re going to find out firsthand before I finish explaining it though, so I won’t bother. Here’s a hint. You’re gonna want to pack as much living as you can into the next couple of minutes.”

The game concludes with an amazing song:

And there was cake, apparently. The recipe is long, hilarious and in the comment thread.

-CLT

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Finding Jesus

September 14, 2009
Well, he's got the halo, but I'm pretty sure the staff and lamb are just metaphoric...

Well, he's got the halo, but I'm pretty sure the staff and lamb are just metaphoric...

You hear it all the time these days. People “finding Jesus.” Whether they’re in prison or rehab, they always talk about it as though they just won the inter-denominational scavenger hunt.

Why is it that Jesus isn’t out in plain sight, being found by people who have managed to not hold up a liquor store, murder eight people or run a dogfighting ring? Why can’t those who enjoy their booze and drugs in moderation draw a bead on this slippery Sonuvagod?

Perhaps He is out there. Maybe we’re just not looking hard enough. Especially you, Todd. You’re hardly trying and I think you need Jesus the most.

Here are some suggested locations to aid you in the spiritual game of hide and seek that is modern-day Christianity.

  • Nickel Beer Night, Wrigley Field
  • Basement crawl space
  • Chain letter
  • Thousands of nationally accepted religious venues
  • Amy Grant concert; Row 15 Seat 11A
  • Defending Kentucky from terrorists
  • Wandering through the White House and other government buildings, blatantly ignoring the restraining order that has been in place since 1791
  • Opening for Billy Graham (Beijing and Mexico City only)
  • Numerous cameo appearances in dreams (and dream sequences) over the past 2000 years
  • JC & Friends Water Walking Extravaganza, Sea World, San Diego (12 pm, 4pm and 7 pm)
  • Multiple bumper stickers (1970-present)
  • At home, catching up with His “stories”
  • Teaching carpentry at the Learning Annex
  • Protesting gay marriage, California
  • At the Career Center, finding the answer to the question: “What would Jesus do?”
  • Checking on his mom over at the Catholic Church
  • Measuring in at 900 ft. tall to claim title as “World’s Tallest Man (Diety Division)”
  • Montgomery, AL Gun Show, Booth 21
  • Every 1,200th Rick Roll
  • Unlockable character – Shin Megami Tensei:Nocturne
  • Gethsemane Gardens Amusement Parks
  • Guesthouse, Cape Cod
  • Specially marked boxes of Quaker Oats
  • Collecting His “props” at the end of every major sporting event
  • Making juice, Wonderland Ranch
  • Behind the decks every other Sunday – Space, Ibiza
  • Missed Connections, Craigslist
  • Fucking with single sets of footprints in the sand
  • Building hot rods with Gibby Haynes, Al Jourgensen

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 14

September 13, 2009

ylt

Yo La Tengo – From a Motel 6
From out of New Jersey, the original indie critics’ darlings (take that Vampire Weekend), who hold forth with their combination of folksy guitar picking, squalling feedback freakouts and a lot of stuff that falls somewhere in between. From their shoegazer masterpiece Painless. A lurching buzzsaw of bitterness and rejection and a general “haven’t we all been here before” feeling. The guitar sounds are magnificent, rising and falling like turbines.

 

pulp

Pulp – Mile End
Hidden all the way at the end of the Trainspottingsoundtrack lies this beautiful tune by Pulp. (It’s right before the Sean Connery-lovin’ throwaway track by Blur.) Jarvis Cocker conjures up all the frustration, desperation and random violence of living the slum life. Not so much about drugs and gunplay as it is about decaying buildings and the pointless brutality that accompanies living under the poverty line and under the radar.

One thing that Cocker absolutely has nailed (other than him deflating a self-important Michael Jackson with a well-timed mooning) is that there is no inherent nobility or wisdom in being poor. It just fucking sucks.

Nobody wants to be your friend
’cause you’re not from round here
as if that was something to be proud about
The pearly king of the Isle of Dogs
feels up children in the bogs
Down by the playing fields someone sets a car on fire
I guess you have to go right down
before you understand just how
how low
how low a human being can go

 

syntax_meccanoMind

Syntax – Pride
Some dark electronic loveliness by two former members of Fluke. This track has been used in a variety of television shoes because it just has that perfect soundtrack feel. Abused actually, by yet another Law and Order offshoot and The O.C., to name a few offenders. But who could blame them? If I had a key scene that was a little sad, a little wistful or just needed an elegant but propulsive tune to dial it all in, this would be the one.

Presumably Syntax formed because Fluke wasn’t “dark enough.” I beg to differ but I will hash this point out in a future Heavy Rotation.

 

toecutter

Toecutter – Best Party Ever
From the dark and moving to the ass-shaking and disruptive. Toecutter (recording as a very thinly disguised Troecutter for this one — oh, and named for a Mad Max character) takes Kool & the Gang’s “Tonight” and slaps it all over the dancefloor, using pitch shifts, Bmore bass, bells, whistles, bangs and some very effective chopped and blocked vocals. Periodically, some virtually unaltered Kool will escape (with some of the gang) before Toecutter shoves the whole mess into the trunk and does high-speed donuts in the parking lot (around the 2:50 mark).

Just keep holding on. You’ll trip across a few vocal samples and a smattering of Madonna before T(r)oecutter returns the banged-up tune to the dance floor, with the pounding 4/4 beat somewhat intact (around 3:40).

 

WHITEY_LIVE_A

Whitey – Stay on the Outside
Some outstanding electro rock from the mysterious Whitey. Starts rather low key with Whitey’s subdued singing, a little organ and some sparse handclaps. It proceeds along in a rather orderly but catchy fashion until around the 2:50 mark, when the floor drops out (and into a faux-fade) only to be replaced with a whoosh and a banging return to the original beat. An augmented original beat.

Various electronics join the commotion and the tempo shifts as does the tone of the song, going from a plaintive to pissed off (protagonist to antagonist). Stick around for the whole thing.

Previous Heavy Rotations can be found here: Heavy Rotation Archives

All mp3’s in an vacuum-packed zip file:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 14 (link opens in a new window)

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to it’s high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]

-CLT

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Balancing the Federal Budget

September 11, 2009
Hey, asshole. Sure, the gloves get rid of the fingerprints, but the sleeves are a dead giveaway.

Hey, asshole. Sure, the gloves get rid of the fingerprints, but the sleeves are a dead giveaway.

As the nation’s deficit continues to skyrocket, politicians are scrambling to come up with solutions to counterbalance their reckless spending.

I kid, of course. The politicians could care less. They’re too busy trying to shoehorn someone’s useless airport into the back pages of our latest trillion-dollar fiasco. So while they look for more ways to sell your kids up the river, we have come up with a few suggestions on how to get the income to match the spending (or carpet to match the drapes, whichever comparison gets your attention quickest).

Fly-by-night tax collection agencies.

Check the White House sofa for any millions that may have slipped beneath the cushions.

Bake sale every Friday – first theme: “Fine. Score one for the bumper sticker-buying hippies. A bake sale to fund a bomber purchase.”

Pay wall for government websites.

Audit fucking everybody.

National “Swear Jar.”

Reorganize the government as a non-profit; accept donations from other countries.

$8 admission fee for illegal immigrants.

Buy more generics.

Effective tax rate on top earners to increase to 110%.

Federal withholding tax will now include a 35% “convenience fee” and a $10 “handling charge” (tip of the hat to Ticketmaster).

Same thing with filing a tax return.

Andrew Jackson was well known for his controversial views on slavery; love of floating pie charts.

Andrew Jackson was well known for his controversial views on slavery; love of floating pie charts.

Federal Disaster Relief packages now limited to a Sympathy card and whatever cash the people at the office chipped in ($43).

Several hundred post offices to convert to malfunctioning self-service kiosks.

Air Force One limited to one (1) “major city buzzing” per administration.

FDA Testing Department trimmed to one person: Karl “the Iron Stomach” Magnusson.

Casinos fucking everywhere.

Hell, smokers have an unlimited amount of money, right?

Americans encouraged to adopt foreign teens and immediately have them seek employment.

Increase the budget for “Alchemy R&D.”

Start accidentally knocking some zeroes off the end of the deficit total. Just until it’s down to something manageable.

Annex Central America and the rest of North America. Tax the hell out of our “new citizens.”

Take advantage of Australia’s penal colony status and stash our tax-dollar eating federal inmates “down under.”

Trim the DEA’s funding by 90%. Anti-drug operations going forward to consist of D.A.R.E. t-shirts and occasional “Won’t Somebody Think of the Children?” hysterics.

Yeah motherfucker. You may have my wallet, but I got your money-leaking hat!

Yeah motherfucker. You may have my wallet, but I got your money-leaking hat!

All national parks and wildlife preserves to be converted immediately to money-making resorts/amusement parks/petting zoos.

All retail transactions to be “rounded up” to next even dollar amount, with difference going to “Deficit Spend-Down” account.

President, Cabinet to look for second jobs.

Library of Congress to “aggressively pursue” late fees.

When buying Congressmen, lobbyists must now pay a 25% service charge.

Secret Service now off nights and weekends.

Proposed bills now must be printed using both sides of the paper.

All interstate road work to be subcontracted to KFC.

Iraq, Afghanistan operations to convert to “Operation: We Can’t Fight All Your Battles for You.”

More “sexually attractive” government employees now required to “turn tricks” 4 hours a day.

Americans encouraged to “give till it hurts.” Or be hurt.

-CLT

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Obama Delivers Stunning Message to Nation’s Youth: “Work Hard, Stay in School”

September 8, 2009
Obama horrifies the kids with his reading of "James and the $62 trillion in unfunded Social Security Benefits"

Obama horrifies the kids with his reading of "James and the $6.2 trillion in unfunded Social Security Benefits"

Obama delivered his “controversial” speech today to presumably hundreds of schoolchildren. What did he have hidden in there? Here’s a few choice words of wisdom from the man himself:

[P]ay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

Alright. Let’s see what else he has:

If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.

Solid. No quitting. What else?

Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book.

Fuck me, that’s brilliant.

Thanks for the pep talk, Pres. Perhaps now would be a good time to remind everyone that “Winners Don’t Use Drugs” and “Knowing is Half the Battle.”

So let me sum this up. “Work hard, stay in school, take responsibility for your actions.” Wow. Way to get all up in everyone’s face. Way to challenge today’s students with a string of platitudes they’ve already had laid out for them by parents, teachers, inspirational posters and “educational” inserts on Saturday morning television.

Of all the chickenshit speeches that have been delivered, this one ranks near the top. Hell, George H.W. Bush delivered this same set of lukewarm sentiments nearly 20 years ago. You’re the new face of politics. Get your balls back from whomever is massaging them this week and make some statements. At least Reagan had the guts to lay out the cold hard facts for the kids:

Reagan called taxes “such a penalty on people that there’s no incentive for them to prosper … because they have to give so much to the government.”

He manages two whole sentences dealing with fixing what’s wrong with public schools. Nothing in there about lousy teachers and corrupt administrators chewing up $25,000 per year per child in Washington D.C.

And what about those public schools? They’re not good enough for Obama’s kids. Public school wasn’t good enough for him. But the voucher program which would allow other kids the same opportunities that he and his family have has been denied. And for what? To keep the NEA happy. To keep them supplied with students whose future they are actively ruining.

Just as Obama proved he was hip pocket material for the United Auto Workers, he has made long strides to claim his place as the pocket pool shark for the National Education Association. At least he can tell the parents that the NEA sees all students as the same: a big $ sign.

And it has been proven over and over again that the NEA protects and retains bad teachers. Take a look at the teacher’s union struggles in New York City. It is impossible to fire a teacher, no matter how incompetent or lazy.

These fifteen teachers, along with about six hundred others, in six larger Rubber Rooms in the city’s five boroughs, have been accused of misconduct, such as hitting or molesting a student, or, in some cases, of incompetence, in a system that rarely calls anyone incompetent.

Meanwhile, the 757 – paid from $42,500 to $93,400 a year – bring in lounge chairs to recline, talk on their cellphones and watch movies on portable DVD players, according to interviews with more than 50 employees.

Until this kind of taxpayer-funded bullshit ends, nothing will get better. They need to get tougher on the don’t-give-a-shit students as well. Expel them. Let their parents deal with them. Stop providing free day care for undeserving students and parents.

This is all moot. This won’t change. No one has yet and no one in the near future looks willing to deal with it.

But here’s what upsets me the most. The whole “personal responsibility” angle.

How dare any politician, Republican or Democrat, black or white, male or female even presume to instruct others about taking personal responsibility. The arrogance and hypocrisy evident in this action is breathtaking.

Where’s the personal responsibility of these “employed-for-life” teachers?

Where’s the personal responsibility of these union members and corporate leaders who ran the Big Three automakers into the ground and were rewarded with taxpayer money?

Where’s the personal responsibility of this nation’s banks whose inept management and bad decisions allowed them to fuck their shareholders but still hand out taxpayer-funded bonuses?

What about the personal responsibility of the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac mortgage system that demanded banks lend out subprime loans after erasing any sort of personal responsibility on the part of the purchaser, real estate agent, etc.?

Politicians have no personal responsibility. They allow special interest groups to rewrite the law books in their own image. They lie down for lobbyists, allowing their patrons to run a crooked game in the name of “fair trade.” Politicians create law after law for their constituents that they have no intention of following themselves.

And it’s not just at the top levels. This sort of above-the-law arrogance runs all the way down:

A Westport lawmaker who voted to hike the state sales and alcohol taxes was spotted brazenly piling booze in his car – adorned with his State House license plate – in the parking lot of a tax-free New Hampshire liquor store, the Herald has learned.

The real speech to the nation’s children should prepare them for the nation they are being handed.

Let Obama talk. Let he and his fellow politicians (left and right) lead by example. Let them show your children that if you want to be a politician you’d better start brushing up on your hypocrisy and start naming your price. You’d better be able to look your fellow man right in the eye as you’re fucking him. (Yoga classes, perhaps.)

Keep the status quo. Play ball. Scratch backs. Do what’s best for you. Do just enough for your constituents that you stay elected. Switch sides if you have to. Hold yourself to a strict double standard. Kiss ass. Name names. Sell out. Sell others out. Cheat, lie, steal, compromise, waffle, fold, demure, obfuscate, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

Never, ever forget that you are better than the people you represent. Think for them. Decide their fates. Nanny them to death.

But when the time comes, be sure to look them in the eye, deep concern in your voice, and assure them that they have made a wise choice. You are the voice of change.

-CLT

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Happy Labor Day

September 7, 2009

fuva_main

Happy Labor Day!

Brought to you by the unions of America, whose main selling points are:

1. Wal-Mart pays low wages!

and

2. The last time we did anything positive was over a century ago!

Thanks for looking out for us, fellas. May you continue to bankrupt companies, intimidate scabs and damage job sites in your quest to make America all she can be!

-CLT

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Highlights from the National Health Care Bill

September 7, 2009
From subparagraph 8(a) of section 109.8.1 - "...free muthafuckin pills, muthafucker..."

From subparagraph 8(a) of section 109.8.1 - "...free muthafuckin pills, muthafucker..."

As the debate rages on as to whether or not most of the US should get “free” health care, a few highlights (and let’s face it, some lowlights) have surfaced from the beleaguered bill. Feel free to take a closer look at all the “free” health care you’ll be paying for.

Oh, and thank the higher tax brackets for working their ass off, only to be rewarded with yet another screwing thanks to good old American entitlement. Thanks for “taking one for the team,” guys. You rock the most!

• Three tiers – Skip the Line ($$$$), Fucked ($$$), Truly Fucked ($$)

• Self-inflicted wounds no longer eligible for co-pay

• E.R. now only open 10AM – 7PM. Please plan accordingly.

Cash for Clunkers! Family members with terminal illnesses and/or outdated views on life can be “traded in” for credit on future health care.

• Non-compliant companies to be subjected to Paul Krugman’s printed wrath with inevitable comparisons to Reaganomics and deficit spending (former Republican presidents only).

• After “polling” the “electorate” in various clubs and hotel rooms, breast implants are now considered a “necessary” medical procedure. Implant removal will only be covered if being “exchanged for a larger size.”

• Useless government employees health plans to remain unchanged (full coverage via taxpayer “donation”).

• Use of influential ad agencies to redraw Medicare and Social Security visualizations in an effort to eliminate the pyramid-shaped flow chart wherein current taxpayers are gouged to pay for those no longer working. (Suggestions: Get rid of the angles. Circles or ovals?)

President to appear “deeply concerned” (Expression D) whenever questioned about health care plan. Should take care not to appear “flustered” (Expression B) or “pissed off” (Expression C).

• “Band Aid Requisition Form” to be trimmed down to 3 pages.

• Sufferers of common STDs to be routed to VA/military hospitals due to their massive amount of previous experience.

• Ride-Share program for government-supplied wheelchairs.

• Upgraded software will allow government to reject claims 30% faster than private insurance companies.

• Health care plan to be renamed “ObamaCare” once bill repealing presidential term limits passes House.

From opening statement of subsection 383.12: "... will hereby appoint Hunter S. Thompson as 'Prescription Czar' (see list of demands in appendix 330)..."

From opening statement of subsection 383.12: "... will hereby appoint Hunter S. Thompson as 'Prescription Czar' (see list of demands in appendix 330)..."

• Third Monday in November to be “National Take Your Influenza to Work Day.”

• Smokers to continue “taking it in the ass, legislatively speaking.”

• In cooperative effort with the National School Board, a “Staying Calm, Staying Healthy” initiative will provide public schools with Ritalin-laced milk (Vitamin R).

• Co-pay includes $3 contribution to Presidential Re-Election Campaign Fund, if for no other reason than nobody has ever checked it voluntarily on their 1040’s.

• Taxpayers referred to in documents as “renewable source of income.”

• Construction of 1.7 million square feet of new waiting rooms will add 35,000 new jobs.

• Government to reclaim 4.5 million acres of forestland to handle “massive increase” in paperwork.

• Unpopular “death panels” to be replaced with unpopular “roving death squads.”

• Addition of “strongly worded notice to Canada to improve their national health care so as not to undermine our plan by comparison.” The wording continues with a pledge to “level the playing field as soon as possible, so stop border-jumping every time you need a heart transplant or anything else requiring quick, competent health care.”

• Diabetes sufferers to begin needle-sharing.

• Over 700 employees to return to work in iron lung manufacturing.

• Ad execs also called upon to create a better slogan than the current front-runner: “Like the DMV with shots!

• Employment-related drug screening to be recategorized as follows:

  • Pre-employment (Pass) – “Job created
  • Pre-employment (Fail) – “Bush legacy
  • Random drug test (Pass) – “Job saved
  • Random drug test (Fail) – “Job (blown save)

• False sense of entitlement expanded to cover middle class, which had mostly been ignored to this point.

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 13

September 6, 2009

Suggested new titles:
Heavy D and the Rotation
Heavy’s 5-Man Rotation
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Rotation
Rotations Are Heavy
(apologies to L7)
CLT’s Tastemakery & General Condescension

Previous volumes available in the Heavy Rotation Archive (for the low, low price of a mouse-click).

chembros

Chemical Brothers – Private Psychedelic Reel
Last track off their masterpiece Dig Your Own Hole. A monumental build leads to all hell breaking loose and some masterful tweaking of builds and drops all the way thru. Named after the Beatle’s rumored “music to take drugs to” collection. The Brothers routinely close their shows with this headcrusher, which is truly best experienced live.

Two vids (album version and live video):

 

deathinvegas

Death in Vegas – Aisha (featuring Iggy Pop)
Iggy joins the Richard Fearless production collective (sans peanut butter) to deliver some very dark lyrics about serial killers over the greatest cycled riff since metal lost all of its hair. Nothing subtle about this. Just great rocking fun, all huge riffs, killer drums and menacing vocals. Rock like rock should be.

Embedding disabled by fuckmook label executives. Please click thru.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOsonaQMy-E

 

7-a-fischerspooner-web

Fischerspooner – The 15th
Electro-weirdos Fischerspooner take on a Wire track with some unexpectedly amazing results. Begone angular guitars! Make way for some perfectly lovely synth pads and vocal reverb. Beautifully done. Wouldn’t look out of place soundtracking some sort of heartsick montage in an ’80s teen romance flick or being belted out by everybody and their mother in Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest (if that latest is Magnolia… it would seem terribly out of place in There Will Be Blood).

 

MusicCatalog_H_Hardknox_-_Hardknox_Hardknox_-_Hardknox

Hardknox – Fire Like This
You know this song. You just think you don’t. Once you click play, it’ll all come rushing back. Another breakbeat/big beat group from back in the early ’00s, when heady young record execs thought techno would take over the US. Needless to say, MCR, Nickelback, Limp Bizkit, Britney Spears, Black Eyed Peas, etc. Still, an enjoyable track that asks nothing more than to get your ass on up out of that chair, whether to bust a move or bust some heads.

 

bannerkod

Kitchens of Distinction – Quick as Rainbows
Those of you who grew up like I did (white, suburban, mid-30’s) will immediately be transported back to the MTV of yore, whose Sunday nights were essential viewing, what with 120 (fucking) Minutes playing the music you actually listened to. Chiming guitars, airy vocals, soaring synthwork. All this added up to college/alternative rock that actually was still the “alternative.” A gorgeous heartbreak of a song.

All files in one easy-to-abuse zip file: Heavy Rotation Vol. 13 (link opens in new window).

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to it’s high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]
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This Week’s Featured Soap Operas

September 3, 2009

Well. What do we have here? A returning feature?

Yes. Yes, we do. (Here’s the first shot.) A feature that proved so popular during its debut that I have brought it back for another spin and will probably continue to do so until all interest is lost (you go first).

Followed by "The Hideous and Deformed."

Followed by "The Hideous and Deformed."

This week on The Young & The Restless
Jack’s painkiller addiction is hinted at; quickly dismissed. Sharon entertains coworkers with a bungled camping trip anecdote. Gloria bets $200 on Black. In a portent of things to come, Victor files Married but witholds at the higher Single rate. Paul forgets his “safety word” and is hospitalized. With the Daytime Emmy Awards fast approaching, Katherine begins quoting lengthy portions of Shakespeare. Devon wonders if he should go get stitches. Nicholas tries out his new favorite word: “cuntacular.” Disaster strikes when Nikki mixes colors and whites.

Where doctor stuff gets done, with no specifics or enthusiasm.

Where doctor stuff gets done, with no specifics or enthusiasm.

This week on General Hospital
Max obtains a Class B driver’s license. Alice’s conspiracy theories expand to include most major land mammals. Sonny discovers he is powerless to stop anything, really. A flashback reveals Carly’s dark past as a city councilperson. Patrick deems fishing trip “enjoyable;” “successful.” Luke cuts the red wire. Samantha defuses a tense situation by farting loudly. Robin visits with Luke and Laura about the “amazing opportunities available through Amway.” In an effort to keep their relationship exciting and spontaneous, Jeff has Monica stalked and killed. Alfred asks a rhetorical question; is rewarded with a long fade to the closing credits.

-CLT

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DJ AM: Today We Mourn a Non-Entity

September 1, 2009
The shiz that put Crazy Town on the map: DJ AM.

The shiz that put Crazy Town on the map: DJ AM.

[Tip of the hat to RF Interference who first informed me of DJ AM’spassing, and in turn, his existence by asking, “Are the pacifier brigade in mourning?” (Or words to that effect.) A further tip of the hat to Tannerleah over at Stop Annoying Me for bringing my annoyance with the past existence of DJ AM bubbling back to the surface.]

The world is suddenly abuzz with news of DJ AM’s overdose. “Who?” some of you are probably asking. “Whom?” others of you are asking, more properly and possibly with a British accent. I asked myself this same question.

As a follower of electronic music and DJs in general, even I hadn’t heard of him. Turns out I was travelling in the wrong circles. DJ AM was known best for his squiring of such luminous figures as Nicole Richie and Mandy Moore. A professional celebrity DJ.

Crazy Town signalled their craziness through various neck movements and refusal to line up single-file. Also, they had a DJ for no apparent reason.

Crazy Town signalled their craziness through various neck movements and refusal to line up single-file. Also, they had a DJ for no apparent reason.

Here’s a little more background on DJ AM:

DJ AM’s (a.k.a. Adam Goldstein) first tenuous claim to 15 minutes came as the “DJ” for “his” “band” Crazy Town, a band as edgy and threatening as a temporary tattoo. You may notice that I have multiple sets of quotation marks in the previous sentence. It’s no mistake. Let’s go ahead and diagram the hell out of it:

DJ” – Meaning AM was the jackass in the back, fiddling madly with the turntables and mugging for the camera during his allotted 10-20 seconds per music video. His contribution is unknown. Perhaps the “band” felt its street cred would rise above “lunch money donor” on the musical playground. All anyone asked of their DJs is that they stay in the back and shut the fuck up.

his” – Crazy Town wa no more his band than the Beatles were Pete Best’s. He was one of those added features that several bands of that era (Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, etc.) deluded themselves into thinking was essential. So they all got a DJ and who’s heard anything from those turntablists recently? But nevertheless, there it was. Have band, need DJ. As de riguer as the loud-quiet-loud dynamic, faux-rapping and the “I’m singing from inside an old-timey radio” vocal effect.

band” – Crazy Town was a band in the sense that they all played instruments (except DJ AM) under one name as a somewhat cohesive unit. Much like Scary Movie 3is a film, in that it’s shot on film and played on a projector. Still no one’sgoing to confuse it with other films, like The Godfather or even Mobsters.

That’s the backstory.

On August 28th, DJ AM is found dead in his apartment of an apparent “accidental” overdose. The tweet goes out and is soon answered. Here’s a few of the fringe celebrities and would-be rock stars, who were among the first to max out their vocabularies, building deep thoughts out of 140-word sentences: Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy), Paris Hilton, Perez Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Mandy Moore, John Mayer, Ryan Seacrest, Jordin Sparks, P. Diddy.

Let’s take a peek at some of their incredible eulogies, presumably iPhoned in during a rigorous workout/massage/blowjob:

@johncmayer I really want to use words right now but I can’t get em.

THX, John. I really want to not beat you with your own guitar, but English is hard.

@solangeknowles I hope people don’t taint his legacy…..because there isn’t any concrete proof yet. That guy was a walking miracle.

Wonderful, whoever-the-fuck-you-are. He died of drugs surrounded by drug paraphernalia, so I’m guessing “concrete proof” is just an autopsy away (and there is one). Also, Jesus would like to inform you that miracles seldom include dying, at least not if you can’t shake it off in 3 days. Also, also: an ellipsis is three dots, not however the hell many you want. You’re working with a 140-character limit. Don’t use it all at once.

@BonnieFuller DJ AM DEAD & SO SAD! I wonder if the poor thing was suffering from survivor’s guilt after that terrible plane crash

Awesome. Thanks for the amateur diagnosis, BF. If this is “survivor’s guilt” then get a 24-hour suicide watch up at Travis Barker’s place. He “walked” away from that crash as well, and these things always come in three’s. (Someone find a third person to tie into this. I can’t have my pet theories continually crushed by your speeding Buick LeSabre of logic.)

These are the people whose lives he touched. Presumably. All of them bemoaning the “tragedy” and the “why god why” of a relatively young (36) starfucker cut down in his prime, by his own failure to do correct maths while drugging himself up.

Nowhere in this outpouring of shallowness is there a single twit (they liked to be called this) pointing out that suicide is the selfish chickenshit’s way out. Or that he was only batting .500 against life’s tough pitching, having failed to make a gun do the only thing it’s supposed to do in his first attempt. Or that he died committing a crime* and, therefore, deserves no more eulogizing that the thug who gets killed holding up a liquor store.

*We can debate the stupidity of the Drug War elsewhere, perhaps in the comment thread, but at this point, drug possession and use are illegal. And usually treated more seriously than liquor store holdups.

Unfortunately for DJ AM, the NCAA is posthumously stripping him of this key victory over the odds.

Unfortunately for DJ AM, the NCAA is posthumously stripping him of this key victory over the odds.

And now they’re going to do an autopsy? What the fuck for? Looks pretty open and shut to me. Lifelong drug abuser dies surrounded by drugs, having used his last moments to use drugs. Previous suicide attempt on the rap sheet.

Why? Can’t be the parents. Apparently, Daddy AM was an abusive asshole who is currently dead. Mommy AM sent him to rehab, so she may have a stake in this.

His friends? God help me, I really want to put the largest set of quotes ever made around that word. Friends. Nothing but a bunch of ready-made has-beens clinging to each other in the hopes that somehow they’ll matter, at least to themselves. The fuck do they care? They’ll move on. Their memories are as short as their careers and as lasting as their talent.

Maybe they’ll start a memorial fund, dropping cocaine-tainted $100’s into a lockbox from some teen rehab facility. Maybe not.

Is someone out there hoping the toxicology report will somehow turn the c-list sinner into a saint? A martyr for the privileged starfucker way of life? That he somehow OD’ed on “life”?

In a (very) brief memoriam, let’s take a look at DJ AM’s contribution to the music world:

  • Crazy Town – The Gift of Game
  • DJ AM & Travis Barker – Fix Your Face (Vol. 1)
  • DJ AM & Travis Barker – Fix Your Face (Vol. 2)

One album with a one-hit wonder and two compilation albums that were apparently released by his label, Street Corner Trunk Sales. No wonder he was beloved by fans of music and DJs alike.

R.I.P. DJ AM. The light that burns half as bright gets extinguished by the slightest breeze.

-CLT