Thursday, April 24, 2008

This blog still exists.

It's just that getting through with coursework (this is my LAST semester of classes, thank gawd), along with preparing reading lists for subject exams, is kicking my ass.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

So how about...

...that pro-environmental-protection ad with Al Sharpton and Pat Robertson? It blows my fucking mind with the bizarreness of its very existence. And since when were right-wingers in favor of not destroying the planet, anyway? Strange times.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In which I am dumbfounded by very old news.

So okay okay, maybe I'm just naive or woefully underinformed, but given the amazing paucity of information on the topic online, I don't think I'm TOO much dumber than your average bear. Anyway, this just blows my fucking MIND: The Campaign Against Marijuana Production. Which, since 1983--twenty-five YEARS!--has been flying helicopters all over California looking for pot plantations to destroy. Yes, this is depicted in Pynchon's Vineland, but I assumed the situation was being exaggerated for effect. It turns out, not so much. Incredible. I expect the only reason they're not actually using napalm is because of those durned librul environmental regulations. So let's see: a massive, futile struggle against guerilla forces in a dense wilderness? Is there ANY way to read this other than "those dirty hippies lost us the War in Vietnam, so now we're going to get them on their own territory?" Only this time, it will NEVER END, because nobody knows about it, and if they did, they wouldn't care. Hoo boy. This revises my conception of this country, I'll tell you that much.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Most cheery ad about your imminent demise ever

Random crap I had bookmarked for some reason

The Trouble with Tribbles, by Edward Gorey.

A scholarly article on dead mules in Southern literature.

The page for a nutty self-published science fiction novel. Dig the late-nineties geocities aesthetic.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Incredibly petty complaining

I hate the way they've changed the way gmail loads sometime in the past month or so: it used to be that the first thing that would load would be the top bar, so before anything else, it would say, for instance, "Gmail - Inbox(2)," and you would be like, oh boy! Two new message!" and there would be SUSPENSE while you waited a few seconds for the whole thing to load. And then you'd see that it was dummy myspace friend requests. And you would say "... ... ..." But it was exciting while it lasted, dammit. Now the top of the screen loads last, and the thrill is gone.

Slim Cessna's Auto Club: Cipher

A new Slim Cessna album is a real EVENT. Unfortunately, that's partially because they release new material WAY too infrequently for my tastes, but it's also because they have a strong tendency--to use the technical term--to rock the hizzouse, and Cipher is no exception.

Then again, maybe we should be thankful that they take their sweet time about recording. It's obvious that everything about this record is carefully planned out. The CD case--appropriately--is covered with symbols that are apparently part of some secret code; I don't really have the inclination to try to decipher it, but no doubt there's some sort of secret message there for the diligent. The sound itself is musically unified but still diverse enough to keep things interesting. Thematically, it is defined by the four brief "Introduction to the Power of Braces" tracks, which are all about how twisted and bent humanity is and how it needs to be forced straight. It's a conception not unlike that of the Confucian philosopher Hsun Tzu, to make a totally incongruous connection.

But don't think this is all in deadly earnest--this ain't 16 Horsepower. There's also a lot of japery here. How much seriousness can you expect, after all, from a song entitled "That Fierce Cow Is Common Sense in a Country Dress" (sounds like some sort of mnemonic device--some old horse caught a horse taking oats away, anyone?). Also, this album emphasizes the interplay between Slim and Munly--always a highlight of the band's live shows--more than ever before. It's pretty funny and pretty great. Cessna/Munly are the Lennon/McCartney of doom-laden, backwoods alt-country/punk/gospel. There, I said it.

But how does it actually SOUND? you ask. You're so demanding sometimes. Well, it has a heavier sound than the band's previous work; at first I did not care for that, but it grew on me fast enough. The song-writing also reflects this, in a good way. "Your speakers--and your mind--will BURN!" claims their website, and this may well be the case. Not every song is great (the "Braces" numbers, in particular, are more interesting conceptually than they are musically), but enough of them are. "Children of the Lord" takes the chorus from the kids' song about Noah's Ark and couples it with verses about how we're all pretty much hellbound, to rousing effect. "Magalina Hagalina Boom Boom" features great vocal tradeoffs between Slim and Munly. The aforementioned "That Fierce Cow" (don't ask what that's supposed to mean--I couldn't even begin to tell you) is good times. "Ladies in the Know"--previously featured on the live album Jesus Let Me Down--is fast-paced and fun. And there's plenty more to like.

Yes, I was iffy about this album at first. But now I pretty much can't stop listening to it. Perhaps you will have a similar experience.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Things we want very badly

This is said to be coming out on December 24. It's what I want for Christmas, if anyone is keeping track.

PS. Also this. Man, once these two collections have been completed, my big ol' stacks o' duck comics are gonna be obsolete. But I'm not complaining. Also, by that time, barring something truly catastrophic, I'll have earned my doctorate. Whee!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Not the cruelest month anymore!

Internet April fools jokes have been proven by science to be the lamest thing ever, but we have to make an exception when that joke is the return of FAFBLOG! And by all indications, it's here for the long haul. This is pretty much the best thing in the history of things. The entire rest of the blogosphere could be burned down and its fields sown with salt, but as long as fafblog was spared, it would be all good. In fact, if we're gonna choose just one artefact to present to our alien overlords as representative of humanity, I want it to be fafblog.