Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Stick To Acting. Please.

I get these email updates from VH.1 every so often about new music, and in the usual mix I see that Will Smith has a new album coming out. The link is to 3 of his new songs.

Now...I'm admittedly no longer a fan of hip-hop or R&B. I should say, today's hip-hop and R&B, because I no longer believe that R&B exists except as a sub-set of hip-hop, and hip-hop today SUCKS. Rap is dead, there's no art in it anymore, and musically there are incredibly few artists in the so-called R&B category who would have cut it on the Motown label. Alicia Keys is a notable standout, and she's one of the few reasons I still have hope for R&B as a genre.

But back to the Not-So-Fresh Prince, and his new album "Lost and Found"

He should have called it "Lost it and Ain't Found it Yet". Damn! I mean, that was some serious audio crap! I had to go find a cotton swab to get the shit out of my ears left over from listening to those songs! Will, your movies: good shit. This album? I wouldn't flush it down a toilet cuz I'd be afraid of clogging my pipes and dealing with the backed-up overflow!

Here's my review of the three songs I heard:

Okay, I did give him props with this one. Not because it's good, but because it's catchy in a dance-club sort of way. It needs some remixing done to pump it up (and not that crap reggae version I also heard!), but I can see this thumping in the clubs with a heavy dance beat mixed with that deep bass bump he's got going.

Typically Will Smith, you can already see the part in the video where he stops the song and begins his dance routine - you know the one, the big Michael Jackson production with Will in the center and some nameless nobody's in the back copying his moves.

Still; this is definitely going to be a summer dance hit, even if it does suck verbally. "Something sexy about a, girl on the floor all her friends around her, I mean real clean ain't gotta touch or nuttin', not like I like a chick-on-chick, or sumthin', I'm just a sucka for a hot track gimme a drink..."

Whatever, niggah.

Fitting title, cuz I can see people scoping around the corner saying "oh shit, look out, here he comes, hide!" Will, what the hell were you thinking with this? The backbeat is the old spiderman cartoon theme song - no shit peeps, that's the chorus, sung to the tune of "Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can...":

"Here he comes, he can rock,
He can breakdance and he can pop;
He can rap, he can act,
And if you come down to it he can scratch
Hey there, here comes Big Will again..."

Now. Will. Are you trying to tell me you didn't have one, single, honest mofo in your posse who heard this song and bitchslapped you for being stupid? No one to tell you that you sound like a pathetic jackass singing this song? Jada needs to kick you to the curb for this crap.

And you wanna know what pisses me off the most? About a minute into the song, almost exactly (I checked the time stamp) I started saying "Damn, this sounds familiar...whose style is this?"

Then I nailed it. Eminem! Muthafuckah ripped Slim Shady's rhyming style! That whole quick-flow, punctuate the end of your rhymes for emphasis, don't stop to take a breath scheme? I shit you not! YOU listen to the damn song and tell me if it doesn't sound like Mathers wrote it and Will stole it!

I'm ashamed, Will; bad enough you lost your own flow, but you hadda take the white boy's? Daaaamnnn....

You know that song you pull out at a party, the very first one you play just to make some noise until people get a drink in them and start to loosen up? That's why he named this POS a party starter, cuz you sure as hell don't wanna pull it out in the middle of it when people got a groove going!

Will. You USED to be a rapper, and even then you were a comedic rapper. That was your schtick, and it worked for you. You ain't gangsta, ne-gro! Holy mother of god, what the hell were you thinking? Did you NOT see what happened to Hammer when THAT fool tried to go hardcore?

The song starts off promising enough, if you're into the whole gangsta style rap. I can already see the thugs sittin' in their caddy, music blaring in the Cali sun, arms dangling out the window. Like every Snoop video. Then this is what you hear, a thuggie-style flow from the Fresh Prince:

"I'm the party starter,
You might have a good time
But we party harder
Tell the DJ to play my song
And we can dance all night to the early morn"

Tupac is screaming from his grave, "Shoot that mofo!" When this song hits the airwaves there's gonna be a bunch of brothers from Philly standing on the corner shaking their heads, saying "why, Will? Why'd you have to go there?"

"Big Will that's my name
Writing rhymes, that's my game
Ask me again and I'll tell you the same (woo!)"

It's sad, because you listen to it and if you don't bother paying attention to the words you'll swear it's some new schmuck from the west coast, the sound is pure Cali - and then you start hearing "Big Willy" and you can't help but say "WTF?"

It's like Michael Jackson singing "I'm bad...I'm bad...I'm really really bad..."

So, Will: when's your next movie coming out?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Neoprene Man

Neoprene Man

So, I've been wearing a neoprene thigh brace for the past 3 weeks to help a pulled hamstring heal.

Now, the gag here is that my volleyball teammates have gotten so used to seeing me play injured that when I show up and actually put on a brace, they ask "what happened, are you hurt?" - even though I've been limping around the court for the last 2+ weeks. I wear a thigh brace, knee braces, and ankle braces. I'm surprised I'm not wearing elbow braces, but give me time - I'm sure I'll find a way to injure at least one.

What's my point? I play hard, probably dangerously hard and I'm certain I'll pay for this in my old age. Or will I?

I'm 36 years old, and the old bones and joints aren't as flexible as they used to be. Still, I'm on the court and I see these guys 5, 10 years younger than me playing like they're 5, 10 years older than me and it me? I have friends I've known for 15, 20 years and they act the way I thought 40-50 year olds act. They complain about creaky knees, achy joints, gouty feet...they go to bed at 8, and worry about playing any kind of sport because they won't be able to get out of bed the next morning.

Shit. They're old. So what the fuck is wrong with me?

One friend has ribbed me for years, because before and after whatever sport du jour we played I'd pop an ibuprofin pill or two, rub some ointment on a knee or calf, or struggle with some brace or another. "I'll kill myself before I use that stuff", he'd boast.

Then the next day I'll buzz him to come out for another game, and he can't even reach for the phone because his knees are hurting so badly.

To paraphrase the immortal Dr. King, I have a dream. One day I'll be 80, standing at the top of some mountain. I may have let my hair grow out, and be this sinewy, sun-tanned old guy with silver dreds in a snowsuit. I'll be the one showing my grandkids how to snowboard, while their parents complain about the cold while sipping hot toddies in the ski lodge.

And underneath all that snow gear, I'll be wearing a neoprene bodysuit.

I may be old...but I ain't stupid. And I'm still playing the game like kids half my age

I Hate My Government

I hate my government.

I love my country. I'm proud, for the most part, to be an American. Even when we do stupid shit, I'm proud of the principles America, as a country, stands for.

My government, on the other hand, is shit.

I'll keep this short, out of respect for some of my friends in the south. But would someone please, please answer me this: If Saddam was such a threat because of his WMD's...if he was such a threat that we went to war, to prevent him from obtaining nuclear weapons...if Iran is being considered such a threat because they're developing nuclear weapons...

The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his "nuclear mujahideen" -- his nuclear holy warriors..Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud." -- George W. Bush, Cincinnati, Ohio Speech, October 7, 2002

If that's true, then why does Kim Jong II of North Korea get to keep calling us out by name, threatening us with nukes...and not even get a slap on the wrist? He's like Clubber Lane in Rocky III.

It couldn't be because...and I'm hypothesizing here...that because he's the crazy man in a backwater swamp waving a loaded gun, and Saddam was the crazy man we already beat up on, swinging a broken stick in a house full of black gold?

But, you know. Priorities and all.

Monday, March 07, 2005



Hah!! I warned you! I warrrrrrnnnnnned you allllllllllllll! Those iPods are evil!!!

Case in point. Walking past Stef this morning, and she'll kill me for this but hey - it's a long line, I've got time! - she mentions, oh-so-casually...

"My iPod blew up!"


Oooooookay. "What do you mean, blew up?"

"Yeah", she says. "Blew up. Just like (insert attorney name here)".


"Um. This is news."

Apparently iPods have a *minor* tendency to do things like, oh, lock up and stop working. Apple people don't seem upset by this. The response I got was "I'll just send it back and get a new one."

Now...PC people would be rioting outside Bill Gates' house right now if...okay forget I said that. We still buy every edition of Windows even though we know it's still in Beta testing, and we're the Beta Suckers paying for it.

We'd be bitching pretty damned loudly about it, tho'!! .

But you Apple's like they give you free qualudes with every purchase. "Hey man, it's all at one with the Pod, baby!"


And now they're being proven out to be the Antichrist I always knew they were. Forget Bill Gates and Microsoft, he was the obvious monster - the Leviathan of Revelations. I knew the Antichrist was still out there...and now I have proof! Others are rallying to my cause!

A lawsuit has just been filed by an individual against Apple because, and I quote: "Apple has unlawfully bundled, tied, and/or leveraged its monopoly in the market for the sale of legal online digital music recordings to thwart competition in the separate market for portable hard drive digital music players and vice-versa."

Personally I think the guy is stupid. Watch, he's going to have an "accident", disappear, and no one will question why.

Cuz the Pod People protect their own. Ooooooooo-eeeeeeeee-ooooooooo. Spooky stuff.

Remember, true believers - you heard it here first!

('t remember that. I said nothing! Really! Don't report meeeeeeee....!) .

(Update: further proof that there is a Cult of iPod People trying to take over the world. Another co-worker warned me to keep my Sacred Sandisk media player hidden from her boyfriend, because she just bought him a - yes, you guessed it - an iPod Shuffle. And she doesn't want him to know, quote, "that there is something better out there."

Sounds a lot like the Catholic Church in medieval times, doesn't it? Hahaha sorry I had to throw that one in there. Forgive me father for I have sinned. A lot.)

Thursday, March 03, 2005


March 3, 2005 - Thursday


Yes, I can be an arrogant son-of-a-bitch.

Why deny it, right? "I yam what I yams, a-yuk-yuk-yuk-yuk!" When you're a Capricorn solar sign and Monkey lunar sign, there isn't much room for modesty. I do try to curb it, but I have my moments.

For example, I have a baaaaad tendency to do it at work. I'll have a call my name with that hanging question mark at the end as if they're about to ask me something, I automatically reply "No" without ever having heard the question.

"No? But you don't even know what I was going to ask you to do!"

"Yeah but if I start you off with a No, you won't feel so bad when I confirm it later."

Or my catch phrase, which I should trademark:

"I'm never wrong. The rest of the world just hasn't come around to my way of thinking yet."

Here's a perfect example. A friend's girlfriend called him while a group of us were having dinner, and I could tell he was getting the treatment - so I asked for the phone and ask her what the problem is. She tells me she has a cold, so he should feel guilty for being out having fun while she's home feeling sick.

I told her, of course jokingly: "Well really he's doing you a favor. If he comes home you'll annoy him, he'll be pissed, you'll get pissed because he's pissed, and end up in a worse mood than you're in. So by him staying out he's actually helping you feel better."

She gets upset, yells (!) at me to "stop trying that reverse psychology shit" on her.

I got pissed back. "This isn't reverse psychology, this is circular logic. I know you don't know the difference but spend some time, think about it and when your brain stops hurting - come back to me."

I know, cruel - but I hate seeing a man whipped like a dog. Unless the man is me. And the woman doing the whipping has an actual whip, and high leather boots on. Oooo, and...never mind. You get the idea.

So where'd this all come about? I happened to glance at my horoscope today, and this is what it said:

Someone's mumbling, and from the rumble of their voice, it sounds like fighting words. You'd recognize them anywhere, and you're not at all intimidated. In fact, you're already thinking about how to apologize once the debate's over, because you know you're going to win. You probably even know how many sentences it will take to completely befuddle the opponent. Get over the guilt thing. It's not your fault you're better equipped than they are to handle this -- and just about everything else.

See? Even the stars get it. I am absolved of all guilt. Assuming I actually ever felt any. .

All your bases belong to us.