Wednesday, October 31, 2007

RIP Kisho Kurokawa

What a weird way to find out more about a movement - an obituary of one of its founders:

Mr. Kurokawa was one of the youngest founding members of Japan’s Metabolist movement, which advocated an organic, renewable architecture that could evolve through the addition of clip-on modular units. This school of thought emerged around 1960, partly as a response to concerns about overcrowding, and culminated in the Osaka World Expo of 1970, where three buildings by Mr. Kurokawa were showcased.

I wish I knew more about this before he died...not that I'd have tried to meet him or anything, but this is weird. One minute I hear "Metabolist movement" next minute I find a week-old obit in the Times.

How Deep Is Your Love?

This has to be the most entertaining set of statistics I've read in a really long time.

On average, the Japanese only have sex 48 times a year, well below the world average of 103 times and a huge distance from the 164 occasions the world-leading Greeks will go at it. There are 38 percent of Japanese couples who say they have sex at least once a week and 86 percent of those partnerships say they want more. The reason why they can't have more sex even though they want it is because it's hard for them to tell their partner how they feel. Throughout the world, 58 percent of couples say they feel at ease enough with their partner to be able to talk about sex, but only 21 percent of Japanese feel good enough to do so -- not even one-third of the 69 percent of Malaysian couples that are happy to chat about nooky. Among the Japanese, 38 percent felt the best way to improve their sex lives was to spend more time with their partner, while 36 percent just wanted to enjoy life more.

People, we're going to Greece.
From The Daily Mainichi.
My friend described a wall to me once. The wall you hit in the middle of a road. You know, the one made of solid titanium alloy, a million feet high and a million feet wide. On the other side is The Point, so thanks to the wall, the road you're on is seemingly pointless.


Some suggested cures to The Wall:

1. Play Pink Floyd's The Wall wait. Play it with The Wizard of Oz after the third MGM Lion's roar. Wait, no. Don't. But maybe play "Money" over and over.
2. Take Vitamin B6. Nature's Prozac.
3. Take 5HTP. Nature's Xanax.
4. Take a nap.
5. Get some peanut butter and a dog. Go to the bathroom with both.
6. Leave the country for a while.
7. Think of all the kids eating rocks in some impoverished country, and guilt yourself into doing a year's worth of work.
8. Blame your spouse and hit him/her/it. (Please don't do this unless your spouse is hitting you first, or your spouse is Dane Cook.)
9. Crawl into a corner, cry like an evangelist, apply black kohl eyeliner and listen to Disintegration by The Cure or anything by Sigur Ros, Mice Parade.
10. Make a U-turn.

You guys got any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

TIME Magazine names the Top 25 Horror Movies, leading up to Halloween.
One of the films is actually a docudrama about Japanese torture and "medical experiments" performed on war prisoners, called Men Behind the Sun.


Pirates! And not the interweb kind.

Beware pirates!

From The NY Times Lede blog:

The International Piracy Center, which reported the end of a downward trend in piracy earlier this month, recommends that ships stay at least 200 nautical miles away from the Somali coast, saying that the nasty seaborne criminals there are armed with rocket-propelled grenades and aren’t afraid to use them.

The International Piracy Center? (It's actually a "piracy reporting centre" hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Culture Skulter

Here's a digest to "make up" for a few absent days chez blog.

DARJEELING LIMITED: Not bad. If you can get over Wes Andersonian clich├ęs (e.g. slow motion file of main characters, self-conscious introduction of background music), you'll love the story.

I went in fully anticipating disappointment and maybe even disgust (re: Slate's lambast of Anderson's orientalism), but what surprised me were a. Jason Schwartzman cast as the romantic lover (in the most carnal sense of the word), b. the overwhelming message that spirituality is an escapist joke, and c. the amazing actor they cast as the main train steward. If the movie was orientalist (which it most certainly was in the same way every film in the world is doing something wrong), I at least, was able to ignore it.

YOSHIOKA TOKUJIN: He's a design polymath. About a month ago I went to a "furniture opening" for his Panna Chair - The concept is genius: Yoshioka designed a chair that bakes to full form. Hence the name "panna," Italian for bread.

Of all the kinds of openings and events out there, design-centered ones have to be the most interesting. On the one hand, everyone's behind-the-scenes. On the other, it's super lucrative, so there are no misgivings about where people are headed. Unlike publishing and theater events...

TEKKON KINKREET: I have to admit a slight personal agenda in bringing up Taiyo Matsumot's masterpiece bildungs-manga. I wrote an opinion piece about it for PW. Go get it.

AMERICAN MASTERS, CHARLES SCHULZ: It aired last night on PBS, and should have been split in two sections: Part 1: Martyrdom: The Joyce Schulz Story, and Part 2: Martyrdom: The Charles Schulz Story.

And...someone please get me this.

Friday, October 26, 2007

They've done gone done it. An ultra-nationalist Japanese rap song about The Yasukuni Shrine (for the unitiated: Yasukuni is a symbol of fascist Japan and generally regarded as a litmus of Asian diplomacy).

(Via Ryan from Japundit)

At least it sucks. The chorus is just some dude singing "Japan! Japan! How I love Japan!"

Feed the Hungry With Your Smarts!

(From Janet)

Win free rice for starving people with every correct answer in this quiz made by The United Nation World Food Program.

The questions start really easy but don't let that fool you.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bikes on Bikes

I don't usually link to The NY Times, because it's so ubiquitous, but they have a great slideshow of items that bombed or buzzed at design stores across the nation this year. Since many of you are design-savvy, to say nothing of how design-sensitive Giant Robot is, I thought I'd mention it.

One of the buzz items this past year was this thing:The Stockholm Bike Basket...Christmas present, anyone?

I have a story about bikes. Three years ago I got hit by a car going 45. I was on a bike. Broke a leg, my ego, spent Christmas and New Year dosed up and horizontal. Cried a lot. And the kicker was, I hadn't ridden a bike in ages before that, so I blamed myself - i.e. maybe the skill doesn't just come back. Maybe I'm just a bad biker.

Anyway, I figured it was no loss to the world if I never got on a bike again. But then I moved to Deep South Brooklyn, where you pretty much need a bike to get anywhere in less than an hour.

And I love it. It's made me more endeared to self-entitled critical massers, the Tour de France, and that protective hole in bike seats for testicles.

So then I came across this great bike design blog, which makes me realize that if you only need one compelling reason to ride bikes (other than that it's an environmentally friendlier alternative to cars), bicycles might be Man's greatest gift to Design. Symmetry, gears, perfect circles, function, detail, color, dimension, weight...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

If I'd just lost my house in a mega-fire and Mickey Mouse showed up to make me feel better...I'd probably do something that would require another Geneva convention.

Disney announced that it would donate $2 million to the relief effort, with $200,000 of that going to the Red Cross for immediate needs and the rest earmarked for volunteer centers, rebuilding and restoring the environment.

And because it's Disney, the company will send some familiar characters over to Qualcomm Stadium, where thousands of San Diego evacuees are staying, as well other shelters in the next week. (LA Times)

I would start with anal rape.
What happens when The Postal Service and Bright Eyes have sex and give their accident to Jay-Z because the kid's too pathetic for one parent and too chipper for the other?


Damn if I can't stop fantasizing myself meeting the boy of my dreams at the mall as he traipses out of Hot Topic though. Mall-pop, my guilty pleasure.

(Thanks Sanborn, for the heads up) link.

Meta-Post: Halloween

Amelie Gillette's The Hater blog at The Onion/AV Club is one of the funniest of its kind - ridicule.

She informs us that American Apparel is campaigning Halloween with costume ideas using their garments. Gillette has ideas of her own. And they're way better.

WFMU has a bunch of great Halloween tidbits on their blog, including a clip of Mad Mad Monster Party?
I love old stop-motion animation.

And finally, the money-shot question: if you're Christian, how do you participate in Hallow's evil eve?

Like any other day of the year, Christians should exercise caution as wise stewards of their possessions and protectors of their families. Christian young people should stay away from secular Halloween parties since those are breeding grounds for trouble. Christian parents can protect their children by keeping them well-supervised and restricting treat consumption to those goodies received from trusted sources.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

End of a mini-era

There are a lot of sixth degrees in New York City the guides won't tell you about. If you work in any part of mass media, you will come out here, inevitably meet a bunch of UC Berkeley graduates, or make a friend at Conde Naste, or date someone who danced at Tisch, or until very recently, have had some intimate relation with Mo Pitkins.

This last item has nothing to do with how popular or large MP is, but simply because it was a place practically designed around people like "us." A place made attractive to "us" by filigree-ing what is otherwise considered tacky - e.g. instead of a blown up photo of the pizza man holding Bruce Willis around the shoulder scotch taped to the store front, they had caricatures of Lacanian wet dreams all over the walls; they made cocktails with dairy product.

If I talk about this, it's only because I know some of you aforementioned affiliates of the place won't have known that Mo Pitkins has closed down. My first reaction to the news was not one of sadness whatsoever. "Good riddance" was more like it, but on second thought, I will miss Chesterfield booths, secular seder, and even their mill of a performance venue.

Calling Dr. Slump

Interesting story in WIRED about how manga sales are slumping in Japan despite exponential growth abroad.

Fans and critics complain that manga — which emerged in the years after World War II as an edgy, uniquely Japanese art form — has become as homogenized and risk-averse as the limpest Hollywood blockbuster. Pervading the nation's $4.2 billion-a-year industry is a sense that its best days have passed.

I'm sorry. Did that say billion?

Don't Let the Title Fool You

Last night I caught half of Does Your Sould Have a Cold, even though the title and director's mug shot screamed, "b.s. indie movie about a disaffected thirty-something man who misses his girlfriend." The advertised McSweeney's interview didn't help in this pre-judgement of mine.

Turns out it's a documentary following a bunch of Japanese people who are "depressed." Except "depression" is described as an American import brought over by pharmaceutical companies who wanted to pawn off their anti-depressants. Before 2000, there was supposedly no word for "depression" in Japanese. "Does your soul have a cold" is a marketing pitch to describe the way "depression" feels. Since its introduction, American pharma has made gazillions of dollars off anti-depressant sales in Japan.


Anyway, I ended up watching a lot of the movie.

What I got out of it was a couple of people who seriously seemed suicidal (as they'd attempted it before), a really bad therapist (" wanna talk about anything? Um...ok. Next week then?") and the most endearing Japanese rope bondage scene ever. Worth watching for that alone.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Homer, do you like nachos?

This news link comes from Nate, who put it well: best promotion, ever.

BOSTON (Reuters) - Many Americans will be wagering on this week's baseball World Series. For Taco Bell, the stakes are a free taco for everyone in the United States.

The fast-food chain on Monday unveiled a promotion it is calling "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco," which will run through the best-of-seven matchup.

"Millions and millions of people will be watching the Series and hopefully tuning in to see when they are going to get their taco," said Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch.

There has been at least one stolen base in every World Series matchup since 1990. When the first base is stolen, the unit of Yum Brands Inc, will announce a Tuesday afternoon when consumers will be able to walk into the chain's participating 5,800 outlets and ask for a free taco. Anyone who walks into a participating outlet during the give-away period would be eligible for a free taco.

Despite the promotion's name, stealing the taco will not be required.

Congratulations to Chip Kidd for winning an award that was handed to him by...PAUL SIMON!
Jesus. Talk about kudos.

Also, talk of film is very quick-paced. I just got this announcement about a film series taking place at Anthology Film Archives (1st and 1st, NYC) the first weekend of November. It'll examine where art meets politics. (Thanks Nate)

The Tokyo International Film Festival is well underway, and in recent discussion board postings, talk has been mounting over :

United Red Army

I apologize to anyone who just googled that title, and is now wondering what soccer-powerhouse Manchester United has to do with anything (the answer is nothing). The movie is actually about the Japanese terrorist-socialist group. They were infamously violent (and young); stories about the organization sound more like myth.

The film looks at the Asama Sansou Event in particular - the Japanese equivalent of The Davidian Church invasion in Waco Texas, sort of.

But here's the kicker - Jim O'Rourke did the music for the film.

[Update: O'Rourke talks about the film director (Koji Wakamatsu) in this clip on Wakamatsu's website.]

International Planetary

Here's a great article about Shan Sa - Chinese expat author in Paris whose new book is about Tokyo. She won an award for "The Girl Who Played Go" and she's not pro-Japan or China or Europe, but writes locative narratives that necessarily involve politics.


Also did anyone watch the Sox kill the Indians last night? At one point in their commentary, an unusually unsympathetic Joe Buck said of "Japanese import Daisuke Matsuzaka":

His gyroball is just an overglorified screwball.

Later, either he or Tim McCarver got all samurai on Matsuzaka:

The word Matsuzaka used was atone. He wants to atone for Game 3 by winning Game 7. It's been difficult transitioning from the Japanese league...but no matter his facial expression, Matsuzaka has a real passion for this team.

I.e. His face is totally placid, but he's ready to seppuku to The Series.

And speaking of the baseball love affair between US and Japan, Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (best. team. name...EVER) manager Trey Hillman has been acquired by the Kansas City Royals. I really don't mean to let the nip on my shoulder get the better of me, but it's truly heartening to see Asian athletes be taken seriously. Even when they're American athletes coaching...Ham Fighters. Oh man, what I'd GIVE to run their PR.
Whoah. Viz Media has a blog. (see their homepage)

So a couple of nights ago I waxed business savvy about blogging with some friends and came up with the following three cents:

1. The hierarchy of blogs: livejournals are at the bottom of the totem pole. (I'd say it's actually MySpace blogs, but that's not fair to all the entertainer blogs kids seem to dig so much.)

Right above livejournals is the corporate blog, and just above that is the media blog, but the king of the blog is the self-named domain.

2. The thing with blogs is that bloggers are not tyrants. That's why when tyrants (executive heads, sales people) start corporate business blogs, they suck. Non-tyrants can smell each other out. Proof of the blogosphere's lack of tyranny:

Ever notice how wonderfully little litigation you read about over blogright? Note: blogrights are not the same as trademark or copyright, so when Blue Chip Monster sues Bambi's Mom Blog for leaking information, it's just more coporate deer hunting.

See, bloggers don't sue. They whine about "netiquette" and will hate on each other through comments boards or snide remarks, but borrowing is still borrowing is still borrowing. I mean look at blog-design alone! No one is taking anyone else to court over borrowed templates and improvements on xml. Talk of theft is only made by creative types to friends who don't care. Not lawyers.
So, I rue the day blogs become as ceased and desisted as the rest of the world.
God rue the day I become nostalgic for spam...

3. Ex-Vertical colleage Kerim and I agreed we'd do whatever it took to coin my neologism:


It's not quite phobia, but simple indifference to ethnic diveristy. I thought of this term when describing New England. If you coined the term already, sorry. If not, consider this my blogright.

This is sounding like a drunken rant. It's just chicken soup, folks.

Word of the Day: Pucker

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Back in Brooklyn - Rant

I'm back in New York after what felt like an over-long trip to Los Angeles. Over-long because I have become irrevocably attached to my Red Hook coven; feel naked without my office, feel incomplete without the routine lunch break, afternoon break, view of my garden...

But now I'm back and can't get up before 10am. What's more, I was up all last night finishing a book I was certain would end on a dark note, when much to my dismay everything got wrapped up like a neat bow. I invested all that emotional energy feeling terrible for the characters, ready to tell their story like my friends had just been through the ordeal, only to be told they won their case and lived happily ever after.

It's just as well I would complain about any of that. It's a sure sign New York has infected me. Also, that I'm spending too much time alone in here.

So today, I went for a bike ride, and guess what...


And by that I mean there are no independent stores as such. Just places that happen to carry a few things to tide us over in case amazon won't ship some bougie start-up their Buddha Lounge cd same-day. (Warning: BIG chip on Anne's shoulder. Long bike ride to no avail.)

Previously, I had been inured to this in the West Village. As a matter of fact, a friend ran a bookstore/record store on Bleecker at Christopher ages ago, and all kinds of people hung out in it. The neighborhood association politely kicked him and later, Kim's Records out of there because the wrong kind of people were hanging out there - poor people/teenagers.

Now, I'm not saying South Brooklyn is too stuck up for its own good...but I am.

See, eventually, the West Village let Kim's back in, but only after the store became exclusively DVD-trade. People like their up-and-coming neighborhoods to cater to very specific loungers - older spenders. Up-and-coming neighborhood associations want their 21+ upwardly mobile adults at the bars, and 30+ baby-pushers at baby store A to Z between Atlantic and 1st Place alone. Seriously folks, I started counting the baby stores on my way back, and had to stop at 12.

AND IN ALL THAT MADNESS, NO RECORD STORES???!!! No record stores because local after-schoolers would loiter long afternoon hours without spending any money. Practically no bookstores (one great but tiny one) for essentially the same reason. Clothing stores with egregious price tags and the Y is on the busiest section of a main thoroughfare so if you go you won't hang out outside afterwards. In other words, make your neighborhood retail and hangout experience one that costs a lot and you're guaranteed no kid loiterers.

Remember when teenagers had a place to go? Record stores, arcades, comic book shops (to be fair, there is Rocketship in the 'hood- great comic bookstore), stationery outlets, etc...Where do Brooklyn teenagers go? And is the market for baby shit really so prescient that an entire HALF of the population can be excluded?

All at their own expense. Does South Brooklyn realize how much money I'm ready to drop on cd's and books? Let me at 'em. Someone, please, tell me I don't have to go into Manhattan to browse for music and books...

BTW, the mosquitoes continue to reign terror over my apartment. Does anyone have any advice that doesn't involve my smelling like Pledge 24-7?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What you should do this weekend.

I'm pretty sad to be missing SPX this year. (
Last year I went through the convention floor in a record 1.5 hours (not because I hate the DC-area that much...though I really am vehemently allergic to anything south of Delaware). I just happened to have over-scheduled myself that day. What's more, in that 1.5 hour timespan I spent over a hundred bucks.

Keeping in mind this was when I was still an official part of publishing, I spent that money buying self-published works that weren't part of the book exchange slightly larger publishers quietly partake in. I was paying for self-published, self-made work. And a lot of it.

In other words, if you're in or south of Delaware, 1. I'm sorry, and 2. go to SPX.
If you're lucky and are near BAMRose Cinema in Brooklyn, go see Soy Cuba (as in "I am Cuba," not a vegan homage to Miami Sound Machine). It's one of the best music-appreciation movies I've ever seen. Ever.
All's not lost in LA though. The Polysics (Japanese Devo) and Boris (Japanese amazing band...and GR main man Martin Wong's gonna be at the merch' table!) are playing this weekend (seperately). Also, there's a vinyl toy exhibition opening in Pasadena - Beyond Ultraman - tonight.

(sigh) more overscheduling...
First it's dog food. Then it's barbie dolls and now it's pot pies and kid's cold medicine. Why does everything we don't need have to be unusable?! (Fists poised at God)

Only tangentially related, but I had a Seinfeldian realization today: China is the Ikea of the it forces me to wonder, how many children and pets have been killed by Ikea oversight and will Team Ikea ever issue a recall?

Speaking of China, I've been having nonstop conversations with people for the past couple of days about race relations and gender and well, basically all those things that made you go "whoah, this is like The Real World" back in your freshman year of college. Except it's much more pathetic when you're pushing 30 and saying, "whoah, this is like Grey's Anatomy."

But folks, it comes down to this:
Is WASP a non-offensive scientific term?
Also, Doris Lessing just won the Nobel Prize for Literature. She was born in Central Asia. Does this make her the first Asian woman to win the prize?

Me Love You Long Time

Reader follow-ups to Tomine posting keep trickling in. This one is a funny short film/video about reverse-multi-ethnic-Rice-chasing.

Dragon of Love

Oh, you mean GAngs

One of the NPR carriers in LA is doing its fundraising drive right now; something I was forced privy to on my way through 40 minutes of mild traffic. The fundraising DJ's shtick was pretty simple: Don't you feel bad for listening to us FOR FREE?!

Ah...Jewish Mother's guilt strategy. Does it work?

Part of the commute led me past a behemoth of a Christian church. As I drove past it I exchanged glances between the dashboard radio and the glass building. A light bulb went off. What if NPR adopted the tithing model? Maybe if the DJ can convince people the members of the station will be subject to heresy until they give a 10th of their salary before taxes, more people would donate.

We're passing the offering plate around now, and remember: an ungiving radio-listener is a hell-bound one!

If you don't donate we'll tell everyone you're a Republican.

And then something funny happened. They finally aired the news. I had my window rolled down so I heard everything through windstream fuzz, but Barbara Feinstein was talking about anti-gang legislation. Thing was, through the windstream, I missed the last "ng" sound, forcing me to believe she was talking about anti-GAY legislation. Here's what she actually said:

For a long time gangs have been a West Coast phenomenon, but now we have them all over the East Coast too. We need to take measures to eradicate gangs.

I pretty much shit myself until I rolled the windows up.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Computer got away from me for a couple days there...I blame Ikea and a weather-shift related mild cold. But today I'm back in Long Beach CA...for work. Nice town, the LBC. How Warren G got lost here is any wonder to me. It's always beautiful and clear when I arrive...and generous! Ordered a cup of soup to go at the local cafe, and got a gallon-sized styrofoam cannister of root vegetables and squash cut only in half. For five bucks. It came with an empty hoagie ("bread on the side").

If anyone asks why, bigger is better for making fun of.

Speaking of ridicule, a friend wrote to me in response to my post about Adrian Tomine's Shortcomings. He said:

Ha! Reading this book made me remember all the uncomfortable moments I used to have when I was in a white/asian relationship. It was worse than reading old emails…

For reals, unnamed friend. For reals...

Kids These Days

LinkThe Economist. The only magazine on Earth that would call The Clintons, "kids."
Also, did they make Hillary look cross-eyed on purpose?

Kids These Days, btw. Great band. Not new or anything. I just happened to find out about them recently though. Check them out.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Writing as if drunk-dialing

You ever go to a show or something and come home wanting to start a rock band? Alternately, do you ever read something and feel like your dick's been cut in half? That's what happened last night after I plowed through Shortcomings, aka Optic Nerve v. 9 to 11. It's funny what an omnibus will do for a comic book. It can make it prohibitively good.

So, Adrian signed his books last night in Brooklyn, and I got to see some old friends. Gotta say it's a little weird to be an industry outsider. You know, like I have to listen to everyone now (rolling eyes), instead of telling them what's wrong with Publishing These Days.

Meanwhile, I had lamented my "freelance writer" status to a fellow freelancer friend very recently, who quickly interrupted me with a disgusted shiver and said:

Take out the word "freelance." Just say "writer."

I sense soon I'll be one of those morons who when asked what I do will get all defensive and say something like, "Tch. Of course that's all you're interested in. MY STATUS (cue neck roll). I am (pause) just (longer pause) living..." (as I slowly tap my chest with a microphone grip fist and walk away shaking my head to some Junior Boys song playing in the background.)

If loving myself is wrong...I don't wanna be a writer.

Whatever man. The New York Times would never run a review of dick-halving works of art. Point is, A. Tomine is on to something. Go get this book and start arguing about white-asian dating already.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Editorial update: It's "banh mi"! Not banh minh! Thanks for the correction, folks.

The other day I got banh minh at a local Vietnamese shop, and two things happened.

One: I picked up an issue of Cosmopolitan to read while waiting for my order, and in it was a thumbnail photo of a pretty tool-ish looking man quoted as saying:

I like a chick with self-confidence.

I thought, "why didn't they edit 'chick'?" I mean, I use the word all the time, but there's so many things wrong with that sentence. "Chick" just took all the power out of his statement, making it funny at best.

Two: I told someone later that I had had banh minh for lunch. He responded, "you mean Vietnamese sandwich?" but for the Nip on my shoulder, I wanted to inculcate "banh minh," and insisted on calling it thus, reasoning:

If I'd had a burrito you wouldn't say, "you mean a Mexican wrap?" would you?

Of course one problem is that banh minh isn't nearly as ubiquitous as a burrito (case in point - burrito doesn't get the spell-check red squiggly line). But I got to thinking, we can say sushi, kim chi, and even baba ganoush. Why can't we say banh minh?

On the other hand, I don't even know what to call Korean barbeque other than "Korean barbeque" and I always order papaya salad, not som tum. What gives?

I like a chick with soi-confiance.

Chamillionaire's onto something

This reads more like The Onion than The Village Voice:

There have been stories about the NYPD's Hip-Hop Cops[....]But who has seen these cops, except for the rappers they've tailed?
It was a rare treat when members of the phantom unit materialized outside the West Village club S.O.B.'s on September 18. After a concert thrown by, two men in their thirties accosted an up-and-coming rapper and told him to come with them. When he resisted, he says, the men—one white, one black—flashed badges and identified themselves as members of the "hip-hop police."
One possible reason for the police presence might have been the eleventh-hour addition of Remy Smith to the concert lineup. Also known as Remy Ma, the Bronx-based female rapper is charged with shooting her best friend this summer outside Manhattan's Pizza Bar.
This makes sense, according to retired NYPD detective Derrick Parker, who founded the unit and later wrote a book, The Notorious C.O.P., that outed it. Parker says that before any major hip-hop event, the Hip-Hop Cops devise a game plan.

"Freeze! It's the hip hop POE-leese! Drop that microphone, biotch...ISAIDDROPIT!"
I picture undercover hip-hop cops wearing the wrong clothes - hiking boots from R.E.I. instead of Timberlands, hotel room shower cap instead of a Du-rag - saying the wrong things - "blang" instead of "bling," "Higgins" instead of "magnums"...

It's almost as bad as Christian hip hop.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Lady rifles

Yesterday I talked about lady golf balls. Red Pooka noted that lady balls might benefit from bright colors. Today I'm reading BoingBoing (link in blogroll), and learn Remington has made a pink rifle!

I actually kind of want this rifle. And then only shoot blue things.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Lady balls

My mom sent me a bunch of golf balls because I started playing again after a "bad associations with Dad" hiatus of several years. What's more, she sent balls for girls and balls for boys...

The box of "Lady" balls reads, "Super soft...designed to minimize vibration and dampen shock through a player's hands at impact." (Dude, if your hand hurts so bad from the impact of a golf swing that you need a special ball, you have much more serious problems than being a lady. Namely, rheumatoid arthritis.)

The box of boy "Hyper Titanium" balls reads, "Straight Distance: For players looking to reduce hooks or slices" (To be fair, the box doesn't explicitly say it's for men, but this is definitely packaged for men.)

I almost understand why basketballs are different in the NBA and WNBA, but what could golf balls possibly benefit from being gendered? Seriously, answer me without sounding ridiculous.

BTW, go see Eastern Promises. Best fight scene I never saw.

Hemingway v. Proust

Alex Ross (the classical music critic and not superhero comics artist) talks about his new book and eponymous blog The Rest is Noise, in this week's New Yorker podcast thingie, but I can't post a link until at least 50 words into my writing or else it screws up the RSS feed thingie on Giant Robot (another link I can't post yet); none of which helps my agonized realization this morning that my blog postings are needless long and drawn out - a conclusion I came to in the midst of a writing tutorial I was giving (hand on lowered forehead, shaking), in which I expounded on the virtues of brevity, which if taken to heart, would lead to poetry resembling an assortment of beautiful Hemingway-esque lines instead of this Proust-like run-on sentence/piece of doodoo.

in other words,

The New Yorker gets new yorker than itself,
looking something like a Giant Robot.
The Rest is Noise.

Does Your Dick Say Micro Machines?

My friend Michael's just introduced me to a book called Knock the Hustle, which I'm only blogging about because of the first line in its press release:

It's time to stop equating professionalism with dress codes, skin color and testosterone.

That, to me, is an example of great headlining. It's a straightforward message using the syntax that defines the very genre (business advice). [Though I would have opted for the more obvious "testicles" or more Latin "testes" in lieu of "testosterone," since the writer is alluding to gender discrimination, and not necessarily saying companies are unfairly biased towards bodybuilders and Haus-Fraus (or God, I hope that's not what they assume).]

Segue: I might have mentioned this on my old Vertical blog before, but I sooooooo wish I were in charge of advertising the Dyson vacuums. They missed a golden opportunity to use the following slogan:

Dyson. Finally something that really sucks.

Segue Two: Back in junior high, we used to make insults out of advertising slogans. For example, you could ask some unassuming young boy, "does your dick say Micro Machines?" The idea being no one would respond, "why yes. My dick is microscopically small. Small, small small..." Also, no one actually writes on their dick, right? Anyway, now you've cornered them in a trick question, because you say to them, "then it's not the real thing!"
I have a vague memory of a similar insult directed at moms, involving a beer slogan, but for the life of me I can't remember it. Something about fast refreshment, or beer goggles and waking up with poo all over you or something I dunno. Who can remember these things.

Anyhoo, this formula makes me wonder - did kids used to make insults out of ad slogans back in the day? Like "does your penis say Coca-Cola?" ("The Real Thing" also being a Coke slogan...)