Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

h1

The Stabbing Knife Vol. 4 – Bono

January 14, 2010

Not crazy. Just stabby.

[After a 2-month hiatus, the Stabbing Knife returns! And it brought presents! Nice, stabbed little presents! Awww… And yes, I have stabbed before.]

Once upon a time, there was a nice, earnest lad named Bono. He fronted a nice, earnest band who wished to make the world a better place. Or at least improve his own country where, when they weren’t warily eyeing their potato reserves, they were blowing each other the fuck up over religious differences.

Remember this guy? So young and idealistic. And turtlenecked.

But then he grew up. And so did his band. They discarded their veneer of Christianity and set out to become the Most Important Band in the World.

They sold millions of albums and made millions of dollars.

But still Bono’s heart ached.

When he wasn’t busy counting his money or shouldering the weight of the world or getting stuck in a malfunctioning lemon, he was alone in the back of his private jet, hunched over a MacBook writing screeds against Western conspicuous consumption and how to save the planet using his bold, Irish ideals and other people’s money.

And then Bono, head steadily inching its way up his own ass, caught a fleeting, non-anally blocked glimpse at the latest P&L for U2, Inc. and got righteously pissed.

And when he got angry, he got stupid.

We’re used to his manager’s stupidity. Paul McGuinness is an idiot. He’s made a number of dubious claims and attention-grabbing statements in the effort to wring a little more money out of everybody from MSN to random ISPs to Joe Downloader.*

*Not his real name.

Here’s a few choice quotes:

“I suggest we shift the focus of moral pressure away from the individual P2P file thief and on to the multibillion dollar industries that benefit from these countless tiny crimes. The ISPs [internet service providers] the telcos [telecoms companies], the device-makers.”

On Silicon Valley:

“Embedded deep down in the brilliance of those entrepreneurial, hippy values seems to be a disregard for the true value of music.”

Entrepreneurial? Hippies? ???

His theory seems to be that the Internet service providers need to pay because they’re making a ton of money trafficking in illegal downloads.

Let’s do some math: I pay $39.95/month for my internet connection. If I download 0 free music files, I pay $39.95/mo. If I download 25,000 free music files, I pay $39.95/mo. Granted, some ISPs do tiered pricing based on use, but they’re not very popular and they won’t last for long.

Here’s some more.

On Radiohead’s pay-what-you-want release:

“It’s important to remember the traditional worldwide star-making functions of the big record companies. There’s nothing on the horizon to replace that.”

Hmmm. We can just let that one go.

Here’s a beauty:

“I started to glimpse the politics of it at that stage. I hope that our politicians, our journalists, our media gain a sense of how much we stand to lose if free prevails. Ultimately free is the enemy of good. “

...and I said, "Google, find me a metaphoric picture for obtuseness..."

But now Bono’s gone and topped him. In his latest for the New York Times, Bono suggests that we look to China for the solution to pirated media:

“But we know from America’s noble effort to stop child pornography, not to mention China’s ignoble effort to suppress online dissent, that it’s perfectly possible to track content.”

Bono doesn’t need a manager. He needs an editor. He may have thrown the modifier “ignoble” in there, but he still wants the same ends, which will then allow him to justify the means. Or to put it another way, “ignoble” when it affects Bono’s privacy but rather more noble when it’s unleashed on the thieving hordes that are The Internet. 

At what point do you decide that it’s OK for you to hold up (however badly worded) one of the world leaders in “Human Rights Violated” as a solid business model, and even worse, a solid government model?

Who here thinks it would be a great idea for the government to install tracking software on every new computer? Who thinks that the government (and their best friends, big failing media) should have the keys to everything you do online? Does anyone actually feel this will turn out well? That the wrongdoers will be caught and punished and the Most Important Band in the World can begin stocking up on ivory backscratchers again?

Or will it turn into the tragic farce that is today’s mommy-state/fucked legal system that does immensely stupid things like turn “sexting” teens into child-porn possessing sex offenders?

Bono takes a moment to reflect on how truly fucked he is financially.

The overwhelming arrogance and crass stupidity of Bono’s article boggles the mind. Just because your business doesn’t run the way it used to is no reason for you to use your considerable wealth and power to try to legislate and litigate your way back into an acceptable profit margin.

Major labels: you lost. The battle is over and the only thing you can do is lash out by harassing, fining, suing and jailing random individuals. It’s not winning you any more fans and it’s certainly not cobbling together some sort of time machine to the mid-90’s jackpot that was CD sales.

And who bitches about this lost revenue the most? The richest, fattest artists. U2, Metallica, Garth Brooks, the Cure, KISS. All of them mention the “little indie bands” as if those were the ones affected the most.

The indie bands have moved on. The RIAA, ASCAP, BMI, etc. are all taking care of lining their own pockets and the top 5% of their stables.

Bono should know better. He said it himself:

“It’s not the place for rich rock stars to ask for more money, but somebody should fight for fellow artists, because this is madness. Music has become tap water, a utility, where for me it’s a sacred thing, so I’m a little offended.”

I guess he couldn’t help himself. And his advice to the movie and television industries, which he feels are next to be downloaded to death? Do the same shit that didn’t work for us, only harder and faster.

To reiterate: Bono, a singer from a country with serious anarchy leanings, recommends an all-knowing government should start following China’s lead into a bold, new era of human rights violations and privacy invasion. Just so that he and the other top 5% of musicians can finally get more of the money that they’re already getting a sizeable chunk of.

Fuck you, Bono.

Fuck you if for no other reason than you made me end a sentence in a preposition.

-CLT

h1

This Month in Cosmo

December 18, 2009

Never trust sex advice from a magazine that puts the word "Va-jay-jay" on the cover.

3 Relationship Tests Guaranteed to Start a Fight! 

10 Romantic Gestures No Man Will Ever Make! 

Your Partner’s Sexual Past? How Much Should You Know? (Guaranteed to Start a Fight!)

5 Things We Like About Men and 100 Things We Hate 

96 Pages of Advertising (48%)! 

How to Cover Up the Hideous Flaws of Your Body 

Rebuilding the Glass Ceiling for Fun and Profit! 

Eating Right: 10 Easy Recipes Using Ingredients You’ll Never Have Just Laying Around the House

True Romance: A Beautiful Love Story Guaranteed to Highlight the Inadequacies of Your Man (and Start a Fight!) 

Fall Fashion Pullout: Featuring Clothes You Can’t Afford and Will Never Fit Into 

25 “Tried and True” Sex Secrets That Will Drive Your Man Wild! (See Pages 84-88 to Find Out Why We Used Quotation Marks!) 

-CLT

h1

The Stabbing Knife Vol. 3: Steve Dahl

November 18, 2009

Roberto prepares to "cut a bitch," Chicago-style.

The Stabbing Knife is back after a brief resting period. [Wait for applause to die down.]

We’ve stabbed before here on Fancy Pants. Here’s a very brief list of the previous victims, whose asinine remarks made their stab wounds mainly self-inflicted:
ASCAP
Garth Brooks

Things must have been going too well. All was quiet and rather orderly until this jackass decided to take his frustration with his dwindling career options to take a shit on the entire Internet.

Ladies and gentleman: Steve Dahl, noted radio personality and columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

Steve Dahl: all the fun of NA beer with twice the water retention.

So what’s his problem?

Apparently, he hates the fact that due to Twitter, blogs and comment threads, ordinary people are allowed to voice their opinion.

“These days, a person only needs a computer to spew opinion across a variety of platforms. Healthy doses of outrage and narcissism are also helpful.”

This is unfair to Steve, although it is difficult to tell why. He doesn’t hold a degree in journalism as one would expect, based on the self-righteous bullshit he’s spewing. Let’s read a little further and see what entitles him to his opinion but not us to ours:

“Don’t get me wrong. I am also an outraged narcissist, but I had to work six-hour shifts in Bakersfield, Calif., to earn my stripes as a communicator.”

Holy fucking shit! Six hours! The man’s an animal!

How does he do it?

Who here works more than 6 hours a day? Yeah, that’s pretty much everybody. However, since you don’t work in the hallowed halls of a dying format like radio or newspapers, your opinion means fuck-all.

He goes on to insert his massive foot farther into his massive mouth by calling CNN out for reading viewer Tweets:

“Nowadays, having a Twitter page qualifies a person to give commentary on CNN. I am not interested in the take of @stinky on the Fort Hood shootings or any other current events. I am watching CNN because I expect them to gather the news, not act as a clearinghouse for any bonehead with a computer, a cable modem and a half-baked opinion.”

So, boneheads: how’s that feel? A dinosaur of the cable news industry is recognizing the shifting playing field and trying to connect with their viewers. Sure, not every opinion is going to be mind-blowing gold, but at least they’re trying. As compared to Stevie here, whose sense of entitlement is currently going at his brain like an enraged tumor and devouring anything useful.

Steve’s not content to stop there. Here’s a swing at Facebook:

“With the advent of Twitter, Facebook, instant messaging and texting, now almost any fool can set up his or her broadcast hub.”

You hear that, fools? Your own broadcast hub! It’ll be like the heyday of pirate radio, only staffed with fools and boneheads!

This seems way, way more than hypocritical from a guy who admits to using Facebook and Twitter nearly constantly.

And, of course, he used it to send out photos of bikini-clad women whose pictures were taken unknowingly.

“I even started including bikini shots via Twitpic with my Tweets.”

Oh, and he has a blog.

For someone so connected with his readers, he sure knows how to marginalize them all in just a few paragraphs. This is why your average Internet user hates your average journalist. They all consider themselves to be better and more informed than the readers they cater to. But now there are too many options and rather than try to connect, they condescend.

Unfortunately, no one has any pity for all these small fish in a rapidly draining pond. No matter how much they splash around like big fish, they’ll still fit down the drain.

This is America, land of the running mouth. We all have opinions and we all like to state our case. For those who think a degree or a certain line of employment makes yours the only opinion that counts, prepare for a short lifespan of soul-sucking disappointment.

Your field has already been marginalized by the Internet, and all you can think to do is pour gasoline on your death pyre.

Of course, great thinking and open-mindedness is not to be expected from the “DJ-personality” who presided over one of the most celebrated public displays of racism and homophobia ever: Disco Demolition Night.

Well, it's no "God Hates Fags" but it does have a kickass lightning-y font...

So long, asshat. Enjoy the brief spike in readers from your troll-baiting bullshit.

From the blogosphere’s black heart, I stab at thee.

-CLT

h1

The Stabbing Knife Vol. 2 – Garth Brooks

October 17, 2009
Roberto prepares for Daylight Savings Time with several stabbing and thrusting exercises.

Roberto prepares for Daylight Savings Time with several stabbing and thrusting exercises.

Garth Brooks is back. Ending eight years of self-imposed retirement to start an open-ended run of shows at the Wynn in Las Vegas, Brooks has dusted off his hat, boots and false sense of entitlement.

Picking up where he left off in 1993, Garth is moaning about how he’s getting fucked by all his freeloading fans. Granted, he does mention other “artists” (of course, none by name) and breaks out his gold-plated hanky for a good old bitchfest.

Brooks prepares for his rigorous Wynn shows by "tripling-up" at their famous buffet.

Brooks prepares for his rigorous Wynn shows by "tripling-up" at their famous buffet.

Our government’s not doing anything about piracy. Until we can hear what a day of radio is like with no music, until this place sits silent because the music creators and the artists and copyright (holders) are not happy because they’re not being protected like everyone else is, then, yeah, I would like that power myself.”

First of all, what the fucking fuck? The government’s not doing anything about piracy? Where in the hell did he get that idea? Did he spend the last 8 years living in a tin-foil coated basement somewhere in Montana?

The government is spending a great deal of time bedding down with ASCAP and the RIAA to make sure that copyright protection continues its steady march to perpetuity. Just last week the House Judiciary Committee approved the hilariously named “Performance Rights Act” which will ensure that radio stations get to pay even more for the privilege of advertising the major labels’ artists.

On top of that ASCAP and BMI are pushing their respective legislators to increase the performance royalty fees that radio stations already pay.

So first the RIAA tags the stations for playing the sound recording and then ASCAP reams them again for royalties due to the musicians playing on the recording. A nice double-dip with all the subtlety of a revolving-door gangbang.

So, obviously Brooks is ill-informed or just genuinely stupid. Let’s flashback to his original enemy: used CDs.

Garth used his considerable weight to blackmail Capitol into blocking shipments of his latest album to stores that sold used CDs. This came back to bite him right in his label’s ass thanks to some anti-trust activity. Despite his best efforts to piss everyone off, In Pieces went on to sell 10 million copies in the U.S. alone.

The end result of 6 months of "cheek sucking" workouts.

The end result of 6 months of "cheek sucking" workouts.

Not content to rest on his huge piles of money, Garth continued to bitch and moan about his hard knock life until he was tossed under the wheels of pop culture with his ridiculous Chris Gaines “concept album,” which touted the soul-patched pop-country  pre=”pop-country “>chubster as a “conflicted artist” who was all angsted-up by life in the public eye.

So what is Garth Brooks’ problem?

Tough to say. According to the RIAA, he’s the best-selling solo artist of all time.

Brooks has sold more than 128 million albums in the U.S., according to the Recoding Industry Assn. of America, second only to the Beatles’ 170 million albums. Brooks has outsold the Fab Four — more than 68 million to the Beatles’ 58 million — in the 18 years since Nielsen SoundScan began monitoring retail sales in 1991, two years after Brooks released his first single.”

Couple that with his lucrative concert tours and the man has to have more money than Oprah Winfrey (or possibly U2).

So why can’t he shut the fuck up and enjoy his success?

Garth appears to be one of those (highly-stabbable) “sore winners” whose life revolves around concerns that his boatloads of millions may be leaking nickels and dimes somewhere. Apparently all the time off allowed him to mellow into a fat, bitter shit who wants everyone to pay for everything, like they used to in the good old days before people could decide what they wanted to do with their purchased property (CDs) or had any choice in how they got their music delivered (single-song mp3 downloads or *gasp* piracy).

Check out his “I showed them” take on his meeting with iTunes:

“Sweet guys. They’ve allowed me to come into their building several times and pretty much tell them how much I didn’t like the system. They listen. But iTunes won’t do what (it) needs to until (musicians) find a way to join together, and show them what an iPod sounds like with no music. … They truly think that they’re saving music. I looked at them right across the table with all the love in the world and told them they were killing it. Until we get variable pricing, until we get album-only (downloads), then they are not a true retailer for my stuff, and you won’t see my stuff on there.”

I cannot fathom how this must sound to him when it comes out of his mouth. I’m sure he feels he’s coming down from Mt. Sinai with the tablets but to anyone else who has actually seen how the real world (and music industry) work now, it must sound like the disjointed ravings of bitter retiree who’s sure the world would be better if we could just go back to the good old days of poodle skirts, lead paint, asbestos and the labels raping you out of $17.99 for a couple of good tracks and 50 minutes of filler.

“Album-only downloads?” I’m sure Garth is invested heavily in Time Machines of America if he thinks he can get a majority of Americans to welcome his “Buy One, Buy ‘Em All” plan. That shit went out with Discmans and Fen-phen.

Garth displays his vestigial opposable thumbs.

Garth displays his vestigial opposable thumbs.

But he’s not through yet. Garth’s mouth has unlimited foot space (possibly due to elective surgery). Here’s his contradictory and pure evil plan for getting back what’s his:

“I’d love to see us get it together, and that’s one of the things for the next five years is to try and figure out how. Athletics has it — anti-trust. That’s the only way these guys get the attention of the leagues they work for. Until we can unionize, until we can bond together, we have no power.”

Pause for breath and some oxygen to the brain. He likes anti-trust but wants to unionize into one group that would oversee the entire record industry, presumably with the power to set prices regardless of market demand and constrict delivery methods. Sounds like a monopoly to me.

Back to King Garth, RIAA mouthpiece and jackass supreme:

“I want us to be able to come together and represent as a whole to tell the nation. … It has to be placed in the right hands, so it can’t be one person, but a board that represents music, its creators and its content owners. I think that’d be more than fair to stand up and say, ‘Look, you’ve ignored us, because there’s 50,000 of us and 300 million voters. You’ve ignored us, and now to show you, we would like to just simply stop for a day,’ and see how dry this world gets.”

Wow.

Garth is no longer just interested in the music-buying public. He now wants 300 million voters to take it in the ass because starving artists like himself are outnumbered and outgunned by Joe Public and his considerable lobbying power.

Hey, public. Meet dictator-for-life Garth Brooks. He’d like to welcome you with a hearty “fuck you” in appreciation for your purchase of 128 million albums during the course of his career.

There is a silver lining to this colossal bullshitstorm: Garth is offering to swing his massive, platinum-encrusted weight around until he gets his way, even if that means pulling all major label music off the radio for an entire day, just to show us stupid “little people” what’s the motherfucking what.

To raise awareness for "totally screwed" multi-platinum artists like himself, Garth Brooks will eat all major label music for one day.

To raise awareness for "totally screwed" multi-platinum artists like himself, Garth Brooks will eat all major label music for one day.

I say let him.

I haven’t listened to the radio in years and there are millions of hours of independent music just dying to fill the void. It would be better for the radio stations, the indie artists and the world in general.

So please please please. Pull that shit off the air. Teach us a lesson, Garth, you spoiled 47-year-old brat. Smack us around with your superiority. Kick us right in our deserving asses with your size 3 jack-boots of cowboy justice (+1). Show your loyal customers that you made them, not the other way around.

Or better yet, SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Go home and count your money, you fat bastard. Pile it all into huge stacks, knock ’em over and start again. Go wander your mansion or take one of your several cars (or horses… whatever) out for a spin. Go get a botched tonsillectomy and a good case of tetanus. Whatever shuts you up.

Go Roberto. Get him. Fuck you, Garth.

Sincerely,
Joe Fucking Public
300 Million Strong

-CLT

h1

The Audacity of the Same Old Shit

October 8, 2009
Observers noted that this was one of the few times that Obama leaned to the right.

Observers noted that this was one of the few times that Obama leaned to the right.

As many of you may have noticed, I am way less than thrilled with the current President. It’s not so much the man in the office. He’s just another career politician. It’s what he could have been and how quickly he sold out. Here’s a rather lengthy rundown on why I’m sick of Obama.

Let’s start out at the beginning. Obama is chosen as the candidate for the Democratic party after an extended bitchfest with Hillary Clinton. Clinton makes some odd moves like making up stories about being shot at while out with her husband (the current President) in a hostile nation. What bearing this has on the race is moot, as she is not in the running anymore.

As this event occurs, an amazing groundswell movement takes up the torch for Obama, consisting mainly of uninformed citizens whose voting records would be considered spotty at best and “I last voted when MTV was rocking the vote” at worst.

Everybody wants to get on the bandwagon. Time Magazine spends the entire race publishing one public display of affection after another. Everyone on the internet talks about how “energized” and “hopeful” they are. Even the largely apolitical music blogs I visit start posting adoring articles and spicing up their usual clubland pics with the occasional Obama poster.

So at this point, I’m on guard already. If nothing else, life has taught me that large groups of people who agree on something are generally wrong. (Case in point, Nickelback has sold 30 million albums.)

But let’s look at his opposition. Obama already has most of the country eating out of his hand and McCain is busy running his campaign with all the grace of a 300-lb. club-footed ballerina.

McCain’s campaign was rife with stupid moves like running off on the high road mid-race to get a handle on the shitty economy (“We have no time to campaign! We need to serve the people!“) only to reappear roughly minutes later on the campaign trail (“Fuck the people! I’ve got a race to win! Vote for me in November, people!“).

At the Republican National Convention, McCain decides to outplay the race card by grabbing himself the nearest woman to serve as VP. (“I see your black guy and raise you one woman.”)

By this time the election should have been called on account of candidate ineptitude. McCain clearly wasn’t going to win. And he certainly didn’t deserve to. Throwing him into office would have been like tossing your car keys to Vince Neil.

Obama coasted to victory and claimed the throne. Originally it was just the presidency but the entire world seemed to approve of it so his title was upgraded.

[Full disclosure: I did not vote for Obama. I did not vote for McCain. I sat this one out because write-in candidates (Batman) generally receive less than 4% of the popular vote (Alan Keyes).]

So now we only had a few short months until a young, vigorous black smoker took the helm. I thought, “Well, this is different. Let’s see how this plays out. Maybe he will shake things up with his vitality, charm and second-hand smoke.” If nothing else, it wouldn’t be four more years of being fucked while wrapped in the American flag.

And then he lost me.

Even though he wasn’t officially in office, he made it a point to nudge Bush in the ribs (hard) to get that Big Three bailout money rolling. This happened on November 10th, less than a week after his election.

“Hook a brother up,” he said, referring not to himself, but rather his fine union brothers whose corruption and greed had brought their employers to the brink of bankruptcy. And as RF Interference pointed out, bankruptcy means ditching the union, so that obviously wasn’t acceptable. (“It isn’t.” – Michael Moore)

That was the beginning of the end.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

New England Dairy Farmers Gather to Bitch, Moan

September 18, 2009
Apparently, "fair" means propped up by the government and paid for by the consumers.

Apparently, "fair" means propped up by the government and paid for by the consumers.

New England dairy farmers are asking the public to pay more for milk.

As part of Keep Local Farms, organizers set up a Web site for people to make contributions, which will be divided among farmers, and are urging universities and other institutions to charge a little extra for dairy products in their cafeterias, with the proceeds going to farmers. The University of Vermont is the first to sign on.

As the leading source of said milk, you may be asking, “Why in the fuck would they do that?” Why, indeed. Apparently, they’re not making enough money.

Farmers are getting about $11.40 per hundred pounds of milk, down from $18.72 last year, officials said, attributing much of the change to declining exports amid the global recession. Put another way, farmers are getting 97 cents for a gallon of milk that costs $1.80 on average to produce. Some stores price milk at $5 or more per gallon.

So, step one is begging ordinary people to pay more for a product in the middle of a recession. Sound reasoning that will no doubt prove popular.

Step two? Ask for an anti-trust investigation of Dean Foods, whose merger in 2001 led to their currently position as the #1 milk supplier in the U.S.

Some possible problems with this:

1. Dean Foods purchases less than 15% of the total milk supply in the U.S. (Granted, this is according to Dean Foods. The N.E. dairy farmers allege that they control 80% of the market.)
2. Dean Foods’ supposed monopoly did nothing to prevent some record high prices in 2007 and 2008, which the dairy farmers responded to by purchasing more cattle.

It’s not as though they’re not getting any help. There has been a price support system in place since the 1930’s to ensure a minimum price. Dairy farm subsidies in the U.S. have totalled $3.6 billion since 1995. In March of 2009, Obama reinstituted some long dormant export tariffs on milk, much to the displeasure of pretty much the rest of the world.  Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders just got $350 million in dairy aid added to an aptly named “spending bill.”

So, 80 years of subsidies and tariffs can’t keep you afloat and now it’s up to the public to bail you out, either directly (charity) or stealing (taxes, tariffs, subsidies). At what point did running a business ensure you of successful employment for life? Companies close all the time. People get laid off. Expenses are trimmed. Every time the market decides to kick the shit out of your business does not mean the rest of the country needs to ride to your rescue.

Just because the word “farm” is getting thrown around does not mean that it’s instantly a more worthwhile business than anything else out there. The amount of instant pure-heartedness and quiet dignity that gets ascribed to farmers is ridiculous.

You run a business. You are not God’s chosen ones. You are not “salt of the earth.”

You have a powerful lobby and the mistaken belief that farmers are “good people” working for you. You also have tariffs, subsidies and price fixing in your corner. If you cannot find a way to profit while running a crooked game, get the fuck out. You are broke. Busted. Move along.

They bitch about the fact that they can’t break even selling their milk but that the grocery stores are selling it for an assumed incredible amount of profit.

If your problem is the disconnect between the alleged raping you’re taking and the astronomical profit the grocery stores are making, then why not take it up with the distributors and the chain stores?

You won’t because if you alienate them, you have nothing left. But good old John Q. Public, whose pockets have been reached into so often recently, can afford to take one more for the team. And why not? He’s only had to bail out car companies, banks, the country itself (through “stimulus”) and is about to be rung up for “free” health care. And that’s just in this administration.

Your argument with the grocery stores’ prices makes this argument to the public: “We know that you are already paying too much for milk, with their ‘inflated margins.’ We just want you to pay a little more.”

And what happens when prices return to a profitable level? Will you be letting those who have generously agreed to pay more (in return for nothing) that they can stop ante-ing up for your milk? Or will you decide to let it ride until they call “bullshit.”

Maybe you should just cut out the middlemen and reorganize as a non-profit that happens to have milk as a by-product.

Grow up. The rest of industry carries on and it’s the smallest farms holding it back and bitching the most. Everyone wants to root for the underdog, but you really can’t claim that term with the government willing step in and fight your battles for you.

The point of any business is to make money. You’re not a business anymore. You’re a money pit. A sinkhole. A vagrant with a “Will Bitch for Free Money” sign hanging around your neck.

You all enjoyed 2007-2008 just like every other business in a sound economy. Now that it’s a recession doesn’t mean that you should be exempt from the shit everyone else has to deal with.

-CLT

h1

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

h1

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

h1

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

h1

Lou Dobbs: Shitty Employee

August 6, 2009
A general note:
I am in the process of quitting smoking. I was prepared for the withdrawal symptoms of restlessness and homicidal urges. What caught me completely unaware was the sluggishness. My brain only feels about half awake most of the time. The rest of the time it only thinks of cigarettes.
My brain apparently needs 15-20 solid hits of nicotine a day to get all of the synapses firing. I’m trying to power thru it, but I think my writing may be a bit off.
You may pick up on this. Feel free to say so in the comment box. Something like, “CLT was more clever/insightful/of an asshole when he was still smoking.” I won’t go back to smoking, if for no other reason than I’d rather not crowdsource my addictions. But I feel your pain.
I felt the same way back in the mid-90’s when I heard one of my favorite bands (Skinny Puppy) has kicked their collective smack habit. I thought, “Jesus, the new album is going to suck.” (It did.)
Without further ado, some smoke-free words about Lou Dobbs, CNN, journalism and capitalism.
Lou Dobbs rests on his laurels; touches self

Lou Dobbs rests on his laurels; touches self

Lots of general cacophony over at CNN and around the news arena as Lou Dobbs continues to patronize the “birthers,” a fringe group whole sole purpose in life is to prove that our President was not born in the U.S.

When I use the word “patronize,” I obviously don’t mean like I patronize Nickelback fans. This would be more like I patronize X Record Store because they make it a point to never, ever stock any Nickelback.

Lou Dobbs, 30 years in the cable news business, seems to have reached that point that nearly every employee does late in their career: the “fuck ’em, I’ll do it my way” stage. Most people with a lifetime of experience in one field seem to reach this point eventually. (Government employees reach this state of maturity in as little as 90 days.) As the world around them continues to change, they become a drag on the company, throwing their seniority around and generally behaving like entitled jackasses.

I’ve run into it in the retail field. Times are tight. Budgets are being cut. People are being cross-trained to help out wherever needed. But not the legacy acts. Those who have been with the company for years have decided that they only need to do the same job they’ve always done, and because of their seniority, should be allowed to put in less effort.

CNN is a company. A private cable channel that happens to broadcast news. Should they be held to a different standard than TNT, USA or Spike? They’ve set themselves up to a higher standard by their selected field, but it doesn’t mean they’re immune to market forces. Failing shows get cut out of the schedule all the time.

Should Dobbs be immune? He’s lost 15% of his viewers in the last year. His “birther” horse-corpse beating was labelled as “dead” by his boss. But he refuses to change. He feels entitled to handle it his way. Instead of helping out his struggling network, he’d rather bring it down from the inside with his misplaced superiority.

"Yellow Tie Night" down 38% in the 25-40 demographic

"Yellow Tie Night" down 38% in the 25-40 demographic

CNN certainly isn’t helping their case. They’ve turned into the worst kind of H.R. rep: the ineffectual busybody. They claim to support him. They try to block critical ads. They need to man up and cut the fucker loose. They’re a few bad moments away from third place behind FOX and MSNBC.

Companies with amazing reputations and the best intentions make these moves when times are tough, from Zappos selling to Amazon or Google dropping the free hot coffee and sensual massages at headquarters.

If he wants to do it his way, he can start punching his own timeclock. FOX says they want him. Let him go. He’ll fit right in with the overexcitable paranoiacs who are all about presenting the “FAIR” and “BALANCED” viewpoint.

I have no sympathy for Dobbs, whose urge to continue slumming it on the “high road” is becoming an embarrassment for everyone around him. I can hardly sympathize with CNN either, because of their unwillingness to make the correct decision. If Lou manages to hold onto his position, it will only encourage others like him to push as many buttons as they can. He’ll just stick around, making the rest of the team uncomfortable with his outdated jokes and weak bladder.

This kind of dustup is just another nail in journalism’s coffin. Newspaper and magazines are folding. TV news is having a hard time gaining viewers. Blogs and independent websites will fill in this gap without the baggage of having to be profitable. The world is quickly learning that you don’t need a degree to report the news.

All of the news networks act like they only want to bring you the best news from only the most qualified anchors, but they’d staff it with feces-hurling monkeys critiquing the latest “Girls Gone Wild” video if they thought they’d get a permanent net gain in viewers.

Let me just make something perfectly clear: I could give a fuck if Dobbs talks to “birthers” all day long or does nothing but show Hawaiian Tropic Bikini Contests. I honestly do not care if his integrity is unassailable and he’s got God in his hip pocket. Run your business like you mean it, CNN. His ratings are dying. Cut him loose.

-CLT