Fasten, fit closely, bind together.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Two Tangoes Going Along All the Time that Sometimes Coalesce 

Monday on Hot 97, Funkmaster Flex stated the obvious:

When Wu Tang's Protect Ya Neck played in a club in the early 90s, someone was getting robbed, someone was getting knocked out, and a riot was going to ensue. This, however, was not a bad thing.

[Inspector Deck]
I smoke on the mic like smokin Joe Frazier
The hell raiser, raisin hell with the flavor
Terrorize the jam like troops in Pakistan
Swingin through your town like your neighborhood Spiderman
So uhh, tic toc and keep tickin
While I get ya flippin off the shit I'm kickin
The Lone Ranger, code red, danger!
Deep in the dark with the art to rip charts apart
The vandal, too hot to handle
Ya battle, you're sayin Goodbye like Tevin Campbell
Roughneck, Inspector Deck's on the set
The rebel, I make more noise than heavy metal

When Wu Tang's Ain't Nothing to Fuck was in heavy rotation, Staten Island was serious. Nervous, as the club bouncer in 25th Hour would say.

Protect Ya Neck was from a time before corner stores stayed open 24 hours because owners were too shook.

The way I make the crowd go wild, sit back relax won't smile
Rae got it goin on pal, call me the rap assassinator
Rhymes rugged and built like Schwarzenegger
And I'ma get mad deep like a threat, blow up your project
Then take all your assets
Cause I came to shake the frame in half
With the thoughts that bomb, shit like math!
So if ya wanna try to flip go flip on the next man
Cause I grab the clip and
Hit ya with sixteen shots and more I got
Goin to war with the meltin pot hot

The Killer Bees were hungry. Hungry, as in they were mad that they wanted things and they were young and angry and because of this you could get robbed in Staten Island or otherwise. People listening to 36 Chambers song could relate on some level. Either they were under-classed and could relate on a one to one level. Or they were 12 years old like myself and interested in the energy and power of this hunger, displayed on tape cassette.

It's the Method Man for short Mr. Meth
Movin on your left, aah!
And set it off, get it off, let it off like a gat
I wanna break full, cock me back
Small change, they puttin shame in the game
I take aim and blow that nigga out the frame
And like Fame!!, my style'll live forever
Niggaz crossin over, but they don't know no better
But I do, true, can I get a "sue"
Nuff respect due to the one-six-ooh
I mean ohh, yo check out the flow
like the Hudson or PCP when I'm dustin
Niggaz off because I'm hot like sauce
The smoke from the lyrical blunt makes me *cough

So without saying so, Flex said so. Music can and does incite violence. I Predict a Riot, by The Kaiser Chiefs, for sure. Movies, video games can alter moods, and cause people to act out. People saw The Program and layed down in the middle of a highway to prove their fortitude. I saw Matrix 1 and jumped off fenders of parked cars. Not because I thought I might be able to defy gravity but because the movie had charged me up so much that I had to release this excitement in some physical way and jump off a car.

[Ol Dirty Bastard]
First things first man you're fuckin with the worst
I'll be stickin pins in your head like a fuckin nurse
I'll attack any nigga who's slack in his mack
Come fully packed with a fat rugged stack
Shame on you when you stepped through to
The Ol Dirty Bastard straight from the Brooklyn Zoo
And I'll be damned if I let any man
Come to my center, you enter, the winter
Straight up and down that shit packed jam
You can't slam, don't let me get fool on him man
The Ol Dirty Bastard is dirty and stinkin
Ason, Unique rollin with the night of the creeps
Niggaz be rollin with a stash

The very point that Hillary Clinton feels compelled to mainstream-ly argue... that Grand Theft Auto causes teenagers to react violently before,

after and during play is comepletely accurate.

With music it is more so. Of course music causes people to react emotionally. If it is good music this is what it was tasked to do. Emo music. If it is hype music, get hyped. If it is a track where eight young NYers are rapping for a meal want to display their virtuoso then of course the music is going to illicit similar responses when played loudly. Even if you are not hungry you are going to empathize with this and react in a similar way.

[Ghostface Killah]
For cryin out loud my style is wild so book me
Not long is how long that this rhyme took me
Ejectin, styles from my lethal weapon
My pen that rocks from here to Oregon
Here's Mordigan, catch it like a psycho flashback
I love gats, if rap was a gun, you wouldn't bust back
I come with shit that's all types of shapes and sounds
And where I lounge is my stompin grounds
I give a order to my peeps across the water
To go and snatch up props all around the border
And get far like a shootin star
Cause who I are, is dim in the light of Pablo Escobar
Point blank as I kick the square biz
There it is you're fuckin with pros and there it goes

Someone do a study of MOP's Ante Up being played in a club. Felonies ensue.


Yo chill with the feedback black we don't need that
It's ten o'clock hoe, where the fuck's your seed at
Feelin mad hostile, ran the apostle
Flowin like Christ when I speaks the gospel
Stroll with the holy roll then attack the globe with the buckus style
the ruckus, ten times ten men committin mad sin
Turn the other cheek and I'll break your fuckin chin
Slayin boom-bangs like African drums (we'll be)
Comin around the mountain when I come
Crazy flamboyant for the rap enjoyment
My clan increase like black unemployment
Yeah, another one dare, G-Gka-Genius
Take us the fuck outta here

It's the dirty little secret that no one wants to admit. Liberal-minded individuals laugh it off as red state ignorance. Developmental Psychologists ante up on either side of the debate. But Funkmaster Flex said it correctly, Can't it Be that it was All So Simple Then? If you listened to that album you knew that it was a menace to law and order. There was no question that it was and that it was good.


The Wu is too slammin for these Cold Killin labels
Some ain't had hits since I seen Aunt Mabel
Be doin artists in like Cain did Abel
Now they money's gettin stuck to the gum under the table
That's what ya get when ya misuse what I invent
Your empire falls and ya lose every cent
For tryin to blow up a scrub
Now that thought was just as bright as a 20-watt light bulb
Should of pumped it when I rocked it
Niggaz so stingy they got short arms and deep pockets
This goes on in some companies
With majors they're scared to death to pump these
First of all, who's your A&R
A mountain climber who plays an electric guitar
But he don't know the meaning of dope
When he's lookin for a suit and tie rap
that's cleaner than a bar of soap
And I'm the dirtiest thing in sight
Matter of fact bring out the girls and let's have a mud fight

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Hey is that the truth or are you talking trash 

Is your game M.V.P. like Steve Nash?

Nash finally getting some respect.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars 

Purists hate pull hitters. This is standard among commentators though it goes unsaid. By gushing about meek hitting, scrappy hitters who use the whole field, who spray the ball the opposite way, who go with the pitch, they are implying that power hitting pull hitters are somehow cheapening the game. They are talented but only with a brute force. They are like cavemen swinging clubs. They lack the cerebral component that allows them to do the little things, to see the whole field. They are suspicious of anyone who makes it look too easy.

The shift is on.

They love Jeter because he is a gamer, he plays the right way. He cares, he looks like he goes home and studies video tape after the game. He might actually go to Bungalow 8 after said game. But perception is reality and if Michael Kay says its so...

So it is said Jeter has a workman's like approach to his profession. He makes smart plays. A double play. A sacrifice bunt. An opposite field single. Moving the runners up. Diving into the stands.

While all of the above have a utility to them, they are less than shocking and aweing. They don't scream prowess, they scream proficiency.

A brief aside. This play, during the 2001 postseason, is the biggest the king's new clothes moment in YES network era Yankees history. No one wants to admit that this play was completely uncalled for. The ball was on line. The throw was in time. Posada would have caught it the runner would have been out. Jeter, with his relay shovel, played the middle man taking nothing more than a mark up in the transaction.

They hate Manny Ramirez. His uniform does not fit. He has dread locks. He basically falls asleep in the field and does not study. He looks like he might not really care either. But he is a force. He rolls out of bed, yawns and hits 45 home runs and 130 RBIs every year. If you are a caveman why bother doing any little things?

I watched American Dad last Sunday.

The wife on the show thinks George Clooney is an overrated actor. She says he makes the same facial expression in every movie. Looks down. Looks up. Stares seriously, furrows his brow, and smiles.

With this expression, this charm, men and women alike melt before him. She says he isn't a good actor, but people can't seem to see past his charisma and good looks. But there is nothing there except for some big vacuous brown eyes. She then says she wants to kill him... you know it's a cartoon.

There is a bias against natural talent acting or otherwise. Making something look easy, making something look good. Are Clooney's facial expressions somehow less deserved, less effective, or less of a craft because he didn't practice them (am I really trying to debate a cartoon character on FOX, yes, yes I think I am)?

Switching topics slightly, I've been watching a lot of NBA playoffs. I haven't had a stake in any team since the mid-90s Knicks, so I've been rooting for or against individual players. I like players who play with some definitive style. I can't support ballers who look awkward or undistinguished.

There is a certain way to walk down the street.

And a certain way you shouldn't look on camera.

It has something to do with body control.

It has something to do with general posture.

Everyone in the know loves Dirk. ESPN analysts Rick Bucher and Mark Stein love him. Awood is fan. Chris "Mad Dog" Russo picked him as MVP.

You should however, lose points for not being able to stick the landing.

Dirk is 7 foot. FreeDarko creatively described Dirk as a, "seven foot German who plays like an educated liquid giraffe." While I love this description, I would say he plays move more like a gigantic German trying to make his way home on stilts after a drinking a few liters of Grolsch lagers.

That's not really fair. I like watching Dirk. He is unique. He has a certain look to him. He can shoot better than almost anyone in the league and at 7 feet tall that can be entertaining to watch. But it has to be said, there is almost no fluidity in his game. It always looks as if he is jumping off the wrong plant foot when he drives for a layup. Maybe you can't be fluid at 7 feet tall. Too much mass moving in opposite directions.

Of those left in the playoffs I like Nash, Leandro, Diaw, and Wade. I think I like Marquis Daniels but that might just be due to the tattoos and cold-blooded stare (btw why don’t the Mavs play him? Is Avery is benching him for missing Sunday Mass or something like that?) I don't like Antoine, Terry, or anyone on the Pistons (Billups is ok because fearless and clutch, but I don't find his game itself compelling). I can't even bring myself to like Tayshaun Prince. He seems like he has some of what I am looking for:

He plays with frenetic abandon like a Ginobli, who I like. But when Prince shoots a jumper it looks like he has his left arm in a sling. Like a chicken wing jutting out.

Style counts.

I think there is more to be said about this.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

An Illogical Fiction. 

The ingeniously named Competitive Enterprise Institute recently released the following television advertisements in 14 Midwestern markets. Dubbed "Energy" and "Glaciers," (their writers are clearly gifted) they seek to refute an apparent recent increase in the amount and global warming coverage primarily through video footage of people exhaling. They predictably imply that politicians are trying to outlaw the gas, thereby reverting human civilization to "backbreaking labor," as depicted by a man wielding a large stick not unlike a gigantic mortar and pestle, and a lone bicycle rider in the snowy New York streets. Wouldn't we be much happier loading our Caucasian soccer playing offspring into minivans, spewing flame from our coal-burning power plants, and, from what I can tell, staring at the billboards in Times Square?

"Glaciers," or "The Truth," as let's face it, it is, asks why the media is trying to "scare us" by not reporting the scientific studies that determined the Greenland glaciers are growing, or that the Antarctic ice shelf is actually getting thicker. We see glimpses of legitimate magazine covers, but are given no background on the studies themselves, and their no doubt idiosyncratic reports that were in no way intended to renounce the effects or existence of global warming. In fact, we see a Washington Post banner above a question mark representing this omission, when the CEI site's "About CEI" section quotes the same paper as saying "[CEI] has thumbed its nose at the traditional think tank model, instead adopting what it terms a 'full service' approach that begins with research , but doesn't end there, stretching instead to dogged issue advocacy." Kind of biting the hand that feeds 'em, eh?

Speaking of the site, it's a pocket-sized, both in length and intellectual content, manual of Libertarian values. "We believe that individuals are best helped not by government intervention, but by making their own choices in a free marketplace" more or less sums it up. (Apparently the CO2 business is seen as just such a growth industry.) But how any organization that can publish a 20-page refutation of Jared Diamond's latest book can produce such bizarrely comical, alarmist TV spots is beyond me. Are we, as Americans, so easily lulled by a calm, motherly voice telling us that CO2 is not a pollutant? I was less placated, so much as reminded of a science video bound for an under funded inner-city grade school, in terms of production value. In terms of parody-rife content, it may as well be a Daily Show production.

And lastly, they've posted a web-only companion piece in direct response to Al Gore's recently release An Inconvenient Truth. Of course a movie featuring 90 minutes of Gore discussing global warming is bound to tread a partisan path to Netflix popularity (Metacritic rated the NY Post review a 25 and the NY Times review a 70), but that didn't stop CEI crew. It's a minute or so of political attack ad-style quotes over footage of planes taking off, with a counter showing Gore's CO2 usage skyrocketing, as compared to that of the average consumer usage. Really hard-hitting, scientific stuff.

Perhaps Gore should have ridden his bike from lecture to lecture, instead.

My rating: 10 out of 100 (Too amusing to be a 0.)

Throwing His Hat in the Ring 

Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd announced that he will seek the Democratic Presidential nomination.

On Imus today he tried to expound upon his position on the Iraq War:

Imus: But Senator you voted to go to War in 2003.
Dodd: A lot of new information has come to light since then. If I had known now what I had known then, I would not have voted as I did.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The World He Only Seemed to Manhandle 

He studied objects with a welder's eye for the strongest centered seams which when pressured still support.

Marlon Brando was the archetypal new-type actor who ruined it looks like two whole generations' relations with their own bodies and the everyday objects and bodies around them.

He moved like a careless fingerling at the center of a clear current. That kind of animal grace. The bastard wasted no motion, that is what made it art, this brutish no-care.

Learning to move just the way you already sit still. Living in your body.

You'll know Brando when you watch him, and you'll have learned to fear him.

Brando, Jim, Jesus, B-R-A-N-D-O.

The new archetypal tough-guy rebel, leaning back on his chair's legs, coming crooked through doorways.

The disrespect gets learned and passed on.

She may have loved Marlon Brando, Jim, but she didn't understand him,

this is what ruined her for everyday arts like broilers and garage doors and even low-level knock-around tennis.

Jim, she never intuited the gentle and cunning economy behind this man's quote harsh sloppy unstudied approach to objects.

The way he'd oh so clearly practiced a chair's back-leg tilt over and over.

But, I'm predicting it right here, young sir Jim. You are going to be a great tennis player.

I was near-great. You will be truly great. You will be the real thing.

You will overshadow and obliterate me.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Speaking of Improbable Nomenclature 

Barbaro, the recently euthanizable racehorse, was taken to the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania for surgery.

In that same day, the NYTimes Week in Review quoted one Aristide R. Zolberg on the cyclical nature of Mexican immigration.

Sounds to me like Kurt Vonnegut has infiltrated the staff.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Tao of Willy 

Willie Nelson On Imus this Morning:

I'm working on a new love song it's called, "I Hate Everyone Bone in Your Body Except Mine."


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ridin Dirty 

In the immortal words of C39F...It's a scorcher. Chamillionaire featuring Jae Mills and Papoose. Some preposterous nomenclature, for sure, but a really good song.

This song is reminiscent of Biggie and Bone Thugs' Notorious Thugs in all the right ways. It's mainstream too, so maybe there is hope for hip hop. Or maybe its not that serious or telling of things to come but... It has energy. Everyone seems to be able to keep pace with the beat. No one stumbles over words. It also sounds like some Dead Prez flow (circa Jayz Hell Yeah) and content minus the kill whitey vibe (well for the most part). But everyone can relate to this song. I know the NYPD has tried to catch me and my friends riding dirty many a night.

The only issue I have is with this guy Chamillionaire's name. I mean its ok but it makes he think he should be dressing in the video in something like this:



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