Thursday, December 31, 2009

In which some things own but others do not

This post was a toss-up. I was torn between a New Years pop-culture-in-review post, or a fake Prog Metal newsletter written by a psychotic dork. You've drawn Option A, mostly because I'd like to keep that "Correspondence throughout History" post as this blog's high-water mark for Weird Shit. "But Tony, wasn't the 'Lovecraftian demons conquer the world' post weirder?" I thought so too, but people actually liked that one. Clearly I have no idea what's going on.

2009 was a difficult year. Because I try to live my life like a Replicant, I prefer blow everything up and start over again every four years. To pursue this goal, I got rid of my job and my girlfriend and my home. Not that these weren't fine things, but I needed to move on before Harrison Ford showed up at my door and shot me. That guy is an asshole.

Sci-Fi Movies
In 2009 these took a serious upswing. Specifically, District 9 and Avatar dick-slapped the industry and put everyone on notice: things are going to be a little different going forward. Ain't gonna be no Dennis-Quaid-on-a-dark-soundstage bullshit. Things are going to blow up early and often. There will be all kinds of giant space battles. I was going to make one more funny joke here, but I want to save it for the inevitable "Avatar" live diary. So, uhh...BALLS. Hahahahahaha!

Was it really that hard to just throw 'mechs into these movies? Consider this: James Cameron made 'mechs own in 1986. That loading 'mech Sigourney Weaver used to fight the Queen in Aliens? It was made of plastic and metal; it didn't even have weapons on it. And that scene is still give-you-chills amazing 23 years later. It took us this long to get back to heavy 'mech representation in our sci-fi movies? Really? People in Hollywood don't know anything.
Verdict: OWN. This judgment is based on prognostications of 'mech representation in future Hollywood feature films. I expect everything I have just written to be undone by the announcement of a "MechWarrior" film starring Freddie Prinze Jr. "From the team that brought you 'Wing Commander!'"

Toby Gerhart
Thanks to this plucky fellow, white kids the nation over will start begging their Pop Warner coaches to play them at RB! Which the coach will do, until the white kids suck ass and he puts the black kids back in. Because the only thing a white kid can do with a ball (any ball) in his hands is pass it. This is why we (white people) invented Ultimate Frisbee: not only do we hope the lack of a traditional ball throws minorities off the scent, but we created a game where every single player has to be a competent passer. I don't mean to suggest non-whites are stupid or poor passers; simply that white people need all the help we can get. We hope this will give us enough of an edge to hang on, at least for a while. Don't make us play hockey.

Anyway, Toby Gerhart is the best RB in the country. He is the best despite being a white boy playing at a non-power, and playing some of the uniformly deepest competition in the country. Pac-10 schedules leave no room for Montgomery State or whatever joke programs Mark Ingram got to pad his stats against. Despite his historically excellent numbers in both college and high school, Gerhart is not projected as a top draft pick. I'm not sure as to why (hint: HE WHITE) but I'll venture a guess here. Gerhart currently holds the all-time rushing record (9,662 yards) for California high schools. The previous holder of this record was a former NFL RB, one Orenthal James Simpson. Without getting into too much detail, he probably murdered some folks a few years back. And while this doesn't seem to have much to do with Toby Gerhart on the surface, the fact remains that NFL scouts are stat monsters and holders of the California high school rushing record are statistically much more likely to murder people than running backs who don't hold that record. You can't argue with those numbers. So here's hoping you get a shot in the NFL, Toby. Stay away from knives and Al Davis.
VERDICT: OWN. It would be pretty sweet for him to become the first quality white NFL RB since...well, I can't remember and neither can you. That's the point. I also have a secret fantasy that he will slip to the Patriots in the first round, allowing me to root for him even harder, but let's be honest: when your team is lacking explosive skill players, you probably shouldn't be hoping they draft that white RB. Just keeping it real.

Prog Metal

HAH! Found a way to inject my unrelenting dorkery into the proceedings without the cover of a "fake newsletter" motif. Just FYI, I'm declaring this section a pre-emptive OWN because I can do whatever I want. Music's internet age has created an environment where niche genres and bands can make a living for themselves, and we end up with this sort of thing. Mastodon is, along with Green Day, one of only a few major-label acts that still make honest-to-God albums. Of course, they do so in an environment where the "album" has already ceased to be the primary unit by which music is sold. So it's not like they're keeping the idea of albums alive; they're more paying homage to something that's no longer practiced.

The Mastodon song embedded above is the title track from their most recent release--about an astral-projecting crippled kid who loses track of his body and must be summoned back into the world by Rasputin (that's right, the crazy Russian monk). So...that's pretty neat, I guess. Prog music is especially popular with the ladies, just like all those other musical genres where the songs are 7 minutes long and filled with screaming and can't be danced to. It's also quite beard-heavy; you'll notice that the album cover for "Crack the Skye" involves no fewer than three righteous beards. Oh, you only count two? Well that bear's fur covers its chin, and that's a beard. Here's a song (this time with an awesome video) from another major band in the genre--like all really appealing pop songs, it's long as shit and filled with crazy time signatures. Here's the music of Isis to play us! NO! FUCK IT! WE'LL DO IT LIVE! Fucking!

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