The Olden Days, When This Site Still Called Itself Unbelievably Retarded

Monday, April 11, 2005


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I haven't given URBMN much content for quite a few weeks.  I've honestly been busy with my other projects - you know, writing for the places I write for, trying to earn that cred so I have an excuse to do work that doesn't involve wood or thankless manual labour, throwing out April Fool's jokes about me leaving sites and being called a self-important, overly serious twat for attempting them etc.  Nothing new to report there, then.  When two articles about "hipster cred" popped into miserable existence within twenty-four hours of each other, of course, I knew I had to return to my soapbox as there's nothing I love more than deflating self-important, extraneous bullshit.  It's why the people that read UR still come here and why I still practice this "writing career" - I honestly wonder sometimes why the people that get paid for writing newspaper/magazine columns can't do it better than some anonymous berk with a LiveJournal and a fandom for Simple Plan.  I can pretend to like horrible indie rock.  NOW WHERE'S MY MONEY?

The first article about hipsters comes from The Globe and Mail Style writer Leah McLaren, who I didn't know anything about before this column.  Considering her condescending style and generalizations, I see I'm not missing much.  McLaren seems like one of a multitude of writers given a column not because they have any discernible talent or interesting opinions. They're just young, go to the right schools and follow in the goose-step of the media's version of what's "hip" in popular culture.  It's good to see that other people hate McLaren's writing, but it's apparently become passé these days to talk about her.  Screw it - I'm dissecting Leah McLaren.  She's a small part of my big picture here, that's my excuse.

Here come the Fair Use quotes!  Get ready for BANALITY!

It's not easy being an 18-to-35-year-old these days.

Everywhere we go, somebody wants a piece of us. If it isn't the clothing retailers, it's the church, hoping to tempt us back into the fold with post-Pope nostalgia.

But most people my age don't go to church. (According to Ipsos-Reid, only one in five Canadians does on a regular basis.) Nor do we care much about politics (we barely vote), poor people (we rarely volunteer) or health care (we're pretty healthy, after all).

Wooo-ee!  Demographics and stats!  How about that?  McLaren takes a bunch of general stats and generalizations, throws them into a bag and tells us who we are as 18-to-35-year-olds!  Never mind the fact that the church statistic is for all Canadians regardless of age and that sly, winking dig at the Roman Catholics as if the death of the Pope was planned in any way.  Three paragraphs in, and we're already in Stupid Country.  Even Michael Moore doesn't throw away his allusions to "journalistic integrity" like a flowerpot this early on.  This should be fun.

What we dislike and ignore is well documented. It's what we want that everyone is so desperate to find out. There are lots of us and, apparently, we've got disposable income to burn (though none of my friends feels that way). The word on us is largely negative: We don't like stodgy, we don't like old, we don't like tradition and we don't like anything too serious. What we want, it seems, is hip, young, new and light.

Isn't not liking "old," "stodgy," "traditional" and "serious" things a function of the "young" in the first place?  Brilliant inference, McLaren.  That's exactly the sort of statement I'd expect to come from a newspaper formed before the turn of the 20th century.  That "hip, young" bullshit is the exact statement advertising agencies and entertainment venues primarily aimed at older demographics use to justify their leaving said demographics.  One can't exactly build brand identity when the average age of the consumer a company aims at is fifty to dead.  Also, older people tend to have more experience with regards to ignoring vacuous advertising campaigns.

It's nice to read McLaren's column considering some of the biggest news stories of recent vintage deal with young punks like that rebel Paul Martin, that fun-lovin' Terri Schiavo and John Paul II, the Party Pope.  Nothing says "FUCK TRADITION" like those three party animals.

For example, broadcast executives have noticed that many members of my demographic would rather watch music videos than the news. So what do they do? They get former MuchMusic VJs to present the news to us.

I'm not sneering here. I think George Stroumboulopoulos, host of CBC's The Hour, is a talented guy. He has intelligence and charisma. But then, so did Avi Lewis before him. Like Stroumboulopoulos, Lewis had piercings, wore casual clothes, jumped around a lot and abused the term "awesome." (And, like Stroumboulopoulos, he also exuded an air of charming compassion that didn't entirely fit with the ironic-hipster-in-residence tag that the Corp. slapped on his forehead from the word go.)

Here's the main problem with this article: it's partially about a guy CBC stole from MuchMusic.  George Stroumboulopoulos is an intelligent guy, granted (and that's a hard thing for me to say considering I wasn't thrilled with his tenure at MuchLoud), but CBC didn't hire the man because he's supposed to appeal to the "MTV generation."  CBC hired the man because he's supposed to give the Corp. more credibility among "the kids."  It's part of CBC's continuing strategy to reinvent the broadcaster as a tastemaker for the young and "urban."  Hell, CBC's audience was skewing old, rural and stodgy!  MomCo can't have that, can it?

I honestly despise when CBC programs try to appeal to a younger audience, because the radio and television networks of the MotherCorp are so blatantly left-wing and trend-oriented it's almost sickening.  If you don't live in a major city, have a liberal mindset, follow the flavour of the week or lack a distinctive personality you mean nothing to the MotherCorp.  Why is it interesting that Avi Lewis or George S. have piercings and wear casual clothes?  How the hell does that equate to anything?  They came from MuchMusic, which was nothing more than a shill for the major record companies to begin with.  How "real" do you expect these people to be, anyway?  Let the Greekgyptkranian live and die by his own merits.

Clearly, this pandering treatment of the so-called youth market has been going on for some time now to no great success. The problem is, those in charge of the media don't know what we want, the reason being that what people my age want is (wait for it) a bunch of different things. Some of us are interested in politics. Some are curling fans. Others flip straight to the horoscopes. Put simply, we want all the things a good news product delivers. We respond to quality -- the one thing Canadian news media outlets can't consistently deliver with any of its youth-oriented products.

Those in charge of the media, huh?  Like your mother?  Sorry, sorry, too easy.

Seriously, the "media" don't know what my generation wants because my generation is interested in different things?  No, the "mainstream media" haven't succeeded in coming up with a decent "youth" news outlet because most "youth" news outlets are terrible.  They're either blatant shill mags trying to enforce some sort of overly commercial, market-oriented mindset (hence the manufactured cool that I tend to despise) or they're byproducts of people trying to push an agenda onto other people, whether it be "hipsterism" or whatever.

This is sort of why blogs and websites have stolen some of the thunder from the newspapers and mainstream/"alternative" print media - because the online media are largely controlled by actual people as opposed to a consortium of editors with the right academic "credentials" and "youth-oriented" mindset.  Blogs and news sites have their own problems, granted - the desperate bids for popularity and relevance some blogs strive for is sometimes disturbing - but they far outstrip papers like Ottawa Express and eye weekly for sheer entertainment, readability and relevance as they know the audiences they're aiming for and don't have the pressure of being at odds with an overly corporate mindset.  Not that they're not corporate, mind, but blogging is a young medium yet.

Dose, the national daily news magazine launched by CanWest last week, is another case in point. Edited and published by people in their late 20s, the tabloid reads like a university paper drained of all political or satirical venom.

When in doubt, make fun of your competitor - in this case, Canwest Global and its attempt to emulate the alternative print media.

Honestly, university papers have political and/or satirical venom?  Are you telling me the university paper I tried to infiltrate for three years had intelligent satire?  I was under the impression The Charlatan was a shoddily-run bog paper with opinions ranging from "REZ IS TOO NOISY" and "NICE TYPO ON THE FRONT PAGE, DIPSHITS" to "ANYONE LIVING ON CAMPUS AFTER THE FIRST YEAR IS A FAILURE OH AND GO FIND A FUCKING JOB, APARTMENT AND GIRL YOU FAGGOTS."  When the hell did university papers become readable/stop becoming self-important, then?  Aren't you too busy generalizing me to care, McLaren?

The cover of the launch issue featured a photo of a young woman in a frayed denim vest beside a quote in white font. "We don't need leaders who are wealthy . . ." it read, "we need people like the Pope."

What is this supposed to say? That the leader of the Catholic Church lived a modest existence? That in spite of cracking down on condom distribution in AIDS-ridden African nations, declaring gay marriage "evil" and refusing to ordain women, the Pope was a nice guy? Or is it that 24-year-olds in frayed denim vests don't know what the heck they're talking about?

The Pope was in the news.  Dose interviewed a 24-year-old who likely got swept up in the tide of Popemania.  It's not a hard thing to figure out.  McLaren's also thirty years old, so what's with the overly sanctimonious tone?  Are the "common people" just that much more stupid than she is?  Man.

What's with the trendy Pope-bashing, anyway?  The last two reasons McLaren doesn't like the Pope seem more like she's translating official stands of the Catholic Church to the Pope himself (although John Paul II did harbor those beliefs, which is understandable considering he's the figurehead of the Catholic Church.)  The condom issue makes little sense considering a condom means shit when some Africans live on $5 a month and have to face dilapidated living standards each day of their lives.  John Paul II didn't make popular decisions all the time, and he's not supposed to - he's supposed to represent the Catholic Church's position on an issue, not to follow popular opinion.

Honestly, McLaren, you're criticizing Base yet you go for targets like the Pope.  There were many roads to take with regards to criticizing the newspaper (like the fact that the editor is a 20-something Harvard grad and doesn't represent "youth culture" at all - honestly, he sounds like a business major trying to tap into the pocketbooks of "his people"), yet you went for Catholic-bashing.  How come a 23-year-old nothing schlub like me can see that and you can't?

Inside, the tabloid is filled with irrelevant factoids and diagrams, few of which are sourced or relate to a larger story. Some of the news stories, in turn, fail to answer basic questions. A short item on a study that found the majority of ninth graders practise oral sex in the belief that it is safer than intercourse failed to address the glaring question of whether it actually is.

The following day, there was a story about an academic at the University of Calgary who is examining why women flashed their breasts on the Red Mile last year in support of the Calgary Flames. The reporter quoted the professor as saying the women's reasons for flashing are "really interesting and fascinating," but never told us what they are.

So what you're saying is...Dose is a tabloid.  Wow.  Two paragraphs to state the obvious?  Amazing.  What great muckraking.  You should write for the Globe and Mail.

Dose is not all bad. It's big on environmental stories, which matter to people my age. In the first issue, there was an interesting piece on bald-eagle slaughtering in B.C. There's also a fair bit of national and international news.

But something about these "hipified" news sources worries me. The Canadian media has a history of getting excited about young people for their kinetic delivery and leather trousers and then tossing aside for the same reasons. In other words, they eat their young.

I remember a guy who ran a record store in Madoc, and he wore leather trousers.  He was a jerk.  His store later became a slum.

Also, the Canadian media eat their young?  That was obvious, but obviously McLaren doesn't understand that she's part of the group she criticizes.  If she ends up appealing to a bunch of dirty sixty-year-old men, she'll be out on her ass tomorrow.  If I piss off Adrian Bromley by being me, I'll be out on my ass tomorrow.  I don't pretend to be hot shit, but McLaren obviously thinks she is.  No one is unsackable, which the woman should have realized when she was run out of the UK after a year.  The Brits had already suffered through Barbara Amiel and The Girlie Show, so why put up with the distillation of those two artefacts?

Like Stroumboulopoulos, Noah Godfrey, the publisher of Dose, is in a difficult position. CanWest has spent buckets promoting his paper. If the numbers are high, the critics will sneer about the dumbing down of the news. If they're low, he'll be turned out on his low-rise denim behind until the next sacrificial hipster saunters in to take his place.

Will such youth-oriented shows and publications draw younger audiences in or make us yawn with indifference? It depends solely on the quality of content they deliver. We may have nose rings, but we still know a crock of BS when we smell one. Just ask George and Noah.

Tch.  Stroumboulopoulos is the Evan Solomon of the 2000's.  He'll be given a semi-major push (after all, CBC created The Greatest Canadian to debut Stroumboulopoulos - like people actually thought Tommy Douglas was The Greatest Canadian outside of the Prairies) and then settle into the CBC detritus.  I imagine George S. will replace Solomon on CBC News: Sunday - or he'll end up like Daniel Richler or Brent Bambury.  We'll see.

Godfrey, though?  He wins either way.  If he succeeds, he'll go on to work at the National Post.  If Godfrey fails, it wasn't his money and his reputation will still remain intact.  He really isn't in a position to lose very much aside from personal pride.  If Dose succeeds, it strengthens CanWest Global's news reputation (which isn't that bad despite what National Post haters say.  It's better than Bell Globemedia's, at least.)  If Dose fails, CanWest Global looks stupid.  It's the company taking the risk, not Noah Godfrey.  McLaren would be wise to remember that.

What does this have to do with hipsterism, exactly?  The news is not a hip thing to be into, no matter what demographics have to say about it.  These days, though, it's acceptable to be blatantly left-wing in some corners of the news media, especially if you're young.  Leah McLaren writes for one of the more liberal papers in Canada.  It's in her self-interest to grease the palms of a broadcaster that might want her and to criticize the company that has become rather right-wing in recent years (although she gives it some praise, just to keep that door open if she defects to the CanWest Leper Colony - y'know, like Barbara Amiel.)

What I see from McLaren is a bunch of subtle hints about her being somehow above her subjects.  The non-religious stand, the obvious ignorance she exhibits, the condescending "we" tone she takes in the article - basically, she's what she's criticizing.  There was a good article here, but Leah McLaren ruined it by being the same writer she always was.  Instead of tackling the issue of "youth news" head-on, she took the tone of disinterested 30-something who knows what "people like me" want.  She's right about people wanting "good news," mind you - but it isn't going to come from her.  I'd rather read a magazine that skewers old but has good journalistic credentials over some poorly-written, vacuous "youth news" outlet any day of the week.  No one should give a flying fuck over demographics, but a lot of people (including hipsters) swear by them. It's a sad sight to behold.

Call me when you write for Spin, hon. You are destined for there.


Sunday, March 06, 2005


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Recently, a gay sports site (the jokes just flow, don't they) by the name of Outsports posted a list of "naughty words" that NFL Shop wouldn't allow people to use on its customized jerseys.  The Javascript that the NFL uses for personalizing jerseys through its online shop is, of course, so bad that 1155 certain phrases are banned but everything else is up for grabs.  A lot of blogs have caught wind of this and I'm one of them, but the majority of people talking about this story are giving attention to its "you'll allow PISS POT but not PISS?  WHAT?" aspect.  This story, though, has another aspect to it that people seem to have forgotten amidst all the talk and bluster - the obnoxiousness of some sports fans that they'll order joke jerseys like this.

Personally, I don't understand why people pay $79.99 to wear a billboard for their favourite sports stars in the first place.  It's even worse when some unfunny berk thinks that it'll be a riot to wear an NHL jersey with Tie Domi's number and "ME IDIOT" on the back.  There is more than one type of obnoxious sports jersey, and I plan to cover at least ten of them in this blog.  Trust me, after reading this article you might want to buy a "ME IDIOT" jersey of your own.  I wouldn't, but you don't care what I think all that much, do you?  It's not my money, boy.

THE WRESTLING JERSEY | This is a favourite of some cretins.  Nothing's less funny than a jersey that only three people tops will understand, and just because John Cena's your favourite wrestler doesn't mean you have the right to inflict your fandom on other people.  I don't care what you do when pretending to wrestle JBL in a barbed-wire-cage-and-sodomy match, but coming out in a $300 jersey and whipping out "YO CHILL THUGANOMICS" and bad Michael Cole jokes to your three equally cretinous fans just smacks of idiocy.  Sadly, it's legal and easy to buy a Brock Lesnar replica jersey through NFL Shop, not that people should...or would.

THE NIP SLIP JERSEY | You can legally buy this jersey through NFL Shop.  We have Janet Jackson and MTV to thank for the worst catchphrase of this decade, so please remember to thank them by throwing refuse their way.  I'm sure at least one person bought this jersey.

As an aside, why the hell is the Super Bowl considered to be the most important sports day in existence, anyway?  Just because someone says it's the most important day according to advertisers and other marketing types (AMERICAN DAD IS FUNNYE) doesn't mean I need to watch the friggin' Super Bowl when it comes on.  Cripes, if it ain't got the Bills I couldn't care less about it, seriously.  I feel like buying an ironic Rob Johnson jersey right now just thinking about the Bills.  Really.

THE OBSCURE SWEARIES JERSEY | The jersey to your left is not allowed to be purchased through MLB Shop or NHL Shop considering the two sites share the same online store template and possibly the same profanity filter.  NFL Shop's "naughty words" filter, on the other hand, doesn't catch this less-used but still pretty obvious swear-word deviation.  The filter will catch Cumming, a legitimate surname of many, but go ahead and order all the Colonel Angus jerseys you want.  Brilliant - the biggest sport in America has one of the worst profanity filters.  That makes me feel one-eighth safer.

THE OBSCURE-VARIATIONS-OF-SWEAR-WORDS JERSEY | Again, "cum" is questionable but "come" isn't.  Personally, I think one can get away with a "COME BUNS" Toronto Maple Leafs jersey through NHL Shop considering neither "come" nor "buns" are profane enough for the profanity filter there.  On the face of it, there's nothing wrong with using the phrase "come buns" as both words are common enough to be used in daily conversation.  Still, there's only one mental image for "come buns" and you'll see it in porn every eight seconds.  Tell a jury any different and they'll come down hard on you - and you know exactly what I mean by that, cretins.  Don't look at me that way, ya bloody pervs.

THE XFL JERSEY | NFL Shop won't allow "HE HATE ME," but "DAR DAR BINKS" is fair game.  I can't understand the logic behind NFL Shop's profanity filter - I can understand all variations of "RAE CARRUTH" being blocked, but any dumb name that an XFL player used during all five minutes of that league's existence can be used aside from the one that everyone stopped giving two tosses about four years ago.  Hell, order a Rod Smart jersey - same flatus, different smell.  Trust me, people will never tire of using the XFL as a bad punchline to what was initially a good joke.  I know three of you want that Dar Dar Binks jersey so bad you'd kill.  Don't tell me otherwise.

THE RANDOM LETTERS JERSEY | No filter can, or will ever, stop this jersey from becoming a reality.  At least one filter should, considering immature eight-year-olds never tire of using daddy's credit card to buy themselves a Minnesota Vikings "RTIGVNSOENJQ" jersey.  It's like pretending to throw a ball, but not applying any force to the ball so that the pigskin will just drop vertically to the floor (essentially rolling the ball off the hand - we've all done it to make fun of others at one time or another.)  The classics never die, even though they have the best reason ever to.

THE BAND NAME JERSEY | All right, maybe "WACO JESUS" and "ANAL BLAST" are off-limits as jerseys (aside from the jerseys at NFL Shop, so make sure to get the warehouse discount on those puppies now) but I dare anyone to think that putting an obscure medical term for bodily waste on the back of an overpriced jersey is clever or underground in any way.  Jerseys are only acceptable wear if you're in a hardcore band, and even then it's obnoxious as hell.  Seriously, sports and underground metal (or music of any culture, basically, aside from that ROCK JOCK shit and The Hanson Brothers) don't and shouldn't mix.  For $79 a jersey is the same price as five underground metal shirts.  Guess which man-boob cover earns you "scene points."

THE BAD SPORTS IN-JOKE JERSEY | See "RAE CARRUTH," "DAR DAR BINKS," "KEYSHAWN" et cetera.  No one thinks you're funny when a Montreal Canadiens jersey is emblazoned with the names of "T LINDEN," "GOODENOW," "BETTMAN SUX" or "I M GREEDIE."  That's exactly why I let Hockey Lockout Compendium die after a while - too many bad jokes.

By the way, I will throttle anyone who says "THE NHL LOCKOUT IS A JOKE IN ITSELF HAR HAR HAR."  It is, but that doesn't mean you're as funny as the ten million people who've already said this before you.  Get a writer and/or an agent, because you're not Bobcat Goldthwait and never will be.  Asses.

THE BAD INNUENDO JERSEY | Ah, bad innuendo.  What sort of joke jersey list would be complete without this entry?  Profanity filters can't filter out bad come-ons, as I've demonstrated rather handily.  This jersey is ready for you to order through NHL Shop, so what are you waiting for?  Not only will dumb, drunk girls think you're a hockey player, they'll think you're a young go-getter.  After all, what is sports fandom without the usual pandering to dumb "macho" types who like their semen depositories young, stupid and wearing standard wet T-shirt?  After all, it's a badge of honour to wear jerseys that say "NOT THAT WAY," "GAY BASHER" and/or "I LIKE HONEY."  Gotta show that vivacious wit, now.

Oh wait, you don't have wit.  Still, you've got two testicles and a penis.  That's good enough by your standards, surely.

THE IRRITATING INTERNET LINGO JERSEY | This is the worst thing you can wear.  Believe it or not, NHL Shop thought this jersey was a "great choice" when I entered my personalization details into its form fields.  NHL Shop doesn't know squat by the looks of its filter.  Then again, I'm not surprised.  I mean, Blogger thinks it's okay to delete entire posts I wrote that had questionable titles, so what's NHL Shop's excuse?  Come on, "OMGWTFLOL" is reason enough to censor me at one place, so NHL Shop's e-business partners aren't exactly on the ball here.  I think acronyms are just as and/or even more annoying than anything else I've ever seen.  Seriously, tell me you wouldn't get flogged if you wore this in public.

Sorry for the trendiness of this article, by the way.  I'll try to do better next time.  I hope you're looking forward to "AVRIL LAVIGNE SUCKS," kids!  It'll be neato!  See You Next Tuesday!

Saturday, February 19, 2005


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One of the things that bothers me about doing URBMN (and UR itself, once I actually redesign the site and/or make it look like I give half a toss about it) is the fact that I feel like a moron sometimes for not excessively following popular culture these days.  I know I've repositioned Unbelievably Retarded away from the "metal fanzine" it barely was in the first place this past year, but I'm still not exactly trying to appeal to a mass audience with what I do.  I don't think I'm able to appeal to a mass audience considering how off-the-wall some of the things I've written are.  When I came across the story about Warner Brothers "redesigning" Bugs Bunny for the 'NEW,' 'HIP' 'INTERNET GENERATION,' though, people seem to have reacted to this enough that my need to make smart-arse comments about this subject and how people have reacted to it has been awakened.

Honestly, this is the biggest overreaction to a bog-standard "SAME SHIT, MORE ATTITUDE!" story I've noticed in quite some time.  Cartoon Brew dedicated six stories to this topic in a matter of a few days (which puts the lie to a topic the site posted earlier) and people are already going New Coke on this story, running around like headless chickens and yelling "HOW CAN YOU SCREW AROUND WITH WHAT WORKS?  CHANGING THE FORMULA IS LIKE PUTTING TOES ON OUR EARS OR GOD TURNING THE GRASS PURPLE!"  I'm not playing devil's advocate, but people seem to have forgotten and/or ignored three important things about this revival which I think need to be addressed.  To wit:

1.  No one's actually redesigning Bugs Bunny and throwing him into a 28th century situation.  These are spinoff characters meant to extend a brand, nothing else.  No one's making pretensions to the contrary here.  I'm not surprised that a Time Warner company is ripping off another TW company's strategy here - DC's been bogarting this joint for decades and the last time anyone cared was when Superman was "killed" thirteen years ago (well, that and the "new tights" crap that lasted a whole year before Superman went back to the usual blue/red/yellow arrangement he's famous for.)  Sometimes this strategy works, sometimes it doesn't.

Loonatics seems to be more a ripoff of DC One Million than anything else - descendents of established characters fight crime while ostensibly carrying on the "Looney Tunes tradition."  This was inevitable coming from Warner Brothers.  After all, that Teen Titans revamp worked, didn't it?  I prefer to think of Loonatics as an Elseworlds brainfart as opposed to the desecration of a sacred trust.  Frank Miller, Grant Morrison et al. have been screwing around with Superman and DC Comics superheroes for years with varying degrees of success.  So the idea spilled over into the Looney Tunes "universe" - wow, never expected that.  Some people are really short-sighted sometimes.

2.  To the people complaining about this being "OMG ANIME WTF?!" - give it a rest, will ya?  I'll agree with Warner Bros. Animation being one of the studios that have been influenced by anime within the past few years, but they're not nearly as bad at aping it as other studios are.  Trust me, if you've seen Martin Mystery you'd know how much some studios steal from Japanimation - and they always steal the most annoying, superficial parts of anime, too.  What the designers at Warner Bros. Animation do, to me anyway, is steal equally from anime and Jamie Hewlett for their animation designs.  The Teen Titans and Loonatics character designs are too angular for Loonatics to be considered purely anime.  If anything, somebody's trying to ape The Batman more than rip off standard anime conventions.  Those crazy Koreans animators.

Most people who complain about some cartoons being too anime have probably never watched anything but Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z anyway, and judging anime by its most obvious overseas successes is one of the worst things anyone can do.  Anime is too big and has too many distinctive styles for Shaman King or Robotech to be fully indicative of the entire genre.  Ushio To Tora, Super Milk Chan and Sailor Moon can all be considered anime despite each entry having different styles and quirks from each other because they all originated from Japan.  Loonatics is just another example of Warner Bros. taking a bunch of disparate styles and amalgamating them into something that'll appeal to the "kids."  Gotta prop up that Kids WB, now.

3.  This is the most obvious example of trying to rectify the treatment of a poorly-handled set of icons I've seen in a while, but any character more than ten years old has to go through a "freshening" of said character in order to stay current.  Do I consider any pop culture icon sacred?  NO, and that's the way it should be.  I'm not saying Loonatics isn't going to be crap, but it's something that's totally of its time and it could be the impetus for reminding people of why the characters were so appealing in the first place.  It probably won't, but who's to say what shows eight-year-olds like.

I'm looking forward to the Doctor Who revival, for example, but its success will depend on how good the revival ends up being (and Doctor Who needs to be better than what it is right now - basically Paul McGann having amnesia, moping about Gallifrey being blown up etc.  Man, the hardcore fans raped that show.)  Sometimes a radical revision is what is needed for certain characters, and the success of evergreen franchises like Doctor Who and Looney Tunes depends on whether someone's seriously trying to give a franchise a well-deserved boot up the ass (e.g., Space Ghost Coast to Coast) or cynically trying to milk it for the dead cash cow it's become (e.g., any other Space Ghost revival.)  People have forgotten Quack Pack, Taz-Mania, Tiny Toon Adventures and Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon not because the characters didn't need reviving, but because the revivals were crap.  Only time will tell if this revival is as bad as Baby Looney Tunes - and that show's a tough depth to out-plumb.

Yes, I also think The Simpsons' new season is better than the previous four and I enjoy the newly political tone of the show.  Wanna fight about it?

Monday, January 31, 2005


WRESTLING'S FAKE! ABC News Commentary by John Stossel: John Stossel Takes on Myths, Lies and Nasty Behavior

UR Media BlabAnother Friday, another week in which John Stossel bitches about how government is inefficient and big business is the benevolent man on white horse that comes to save people from themselves.  Honestly, I never thought it was possible for 20/20 to become worse than it already was under the Baba Wawa/Generic Male Cohost in Hugh Downs' Chair reign or during the 20/20 BrandTM Extension years (i.e., giving Cynthia McFadden a star turn with that 20/20 Downtown crap), but Stossel seems to have proven me wrong.  By this time I knew the show would become little more than a vessel for Stossel's big-business-is-nigh-invulnerable views as his influence on the show would become more pronounced.  This episode of 20/20 just proved as such, at least in my view.

I rarely watch 20/20, by the way.  I can't stand the show's brand of journalism, not to mention my having better things to do on a Friday night than be informed of why Ben Affleck is so hunky followed by a piece on defective dishwashers and why you shouldn't let baby near them.  Stossel, of course, has been part of the show's staff since 1981 but his contributions earlier in the show's history were just kept to one segment and/or the occasional 20/20 special.  As soon as he became the permanent cohost alongside Barbara Walters, I knew the show would start to become little more than The John Stossel Show - then "Give Me a Break" became a regular feature.  Now it's starting to fill entire episodes of this show.  It sort of makes one long for Baba Wawa's pithy hour-long interviews with Famous Hollywood Personalities, which is never a good thing.  Ever.

The problem with Stossel is the fact that the man's documentary style is so blatantly obvious and one-sided, filled with mistakes and half-truths.  The man's easier to criticize than Geraldo Rivera, but I feel "Myths, Lies and Nasty Behavior" is more blatant a piece of trash journalism than is usual for Stossel, it being "Give Me a Break" padded out to fill an hour.  If he's going to be biased, fine, but "Myths, Lies and Nasty Behavior" utilized all of Stossel's trademark leaps of logic to an extent that I have rarely witnessed from the man before.  To wit:
  • Myth No. 7 was "GASOLINE PRICES ARE TOO HIGH!"  Stossel's response: "THEY'RE NOT!  YOU'RE NOT ADJUSTING FOR INFLATION!"  If one adjusts for inflation and nothing else, then that might be true.  Still, he's conveniently forgetting fuel additives, reliance on gasoline from politically unstable regions of the world (e.g., The Middle East, South America), the emerging North American preference of heavily fuel-reliant light trucks, SUVs etc. to smaller but more fuel-efficient vehicles and such.  I'm a subscriber to Consumer Reports (point and yell "LIBERAL" at me, but they're one of the fairer sources of journalism out there) and a full-sized crew-cab pickup truck is considered fuel-efficient if it gets 14 miles to the gallon, at least according to the August 2004 issue.  Truck-like vehicles are terrible at fuel economy, which means they're more reliant on gasoline than something like a Toyota Prius.  Small cars aren't sexy, though.

    Also, alternative fuels are cheaper and easier to produce than gasoline, but the technology hasn't improved enough for consumers to get on the ball with regards to fuels like propane, diesel etc.  Once an alternative fuel meets the needs of the average consumer, though, consumers will be more likely to jump aboard the trend, meaning more demand and lower prices on top on the savings one is likely to accrue now from switching to an alternative fuel like diesel.  DVD's are cheaper to make now than VHS tapes ever were, for example.  People will flock to a superior, cheaper alternative once it becomes feasible to do so.

  • Nasty Behaviour #5: "FARMERS ON WELFARE!"  No shit, the farm industry gets subsidized?  It's mostly agribusiness now?  It's been like that for years - hell, I live (presently) on a hobby farm so it's not like I'm not aware of this fact.  Still, it's not that the farm subsidies are the problem.  It's the distribution of said subsidies that's the problem.  True family farms (i.e., farms that are not "hobby farms" but are too small-scale to be considered full-blown corporate enterprises) have been priced out of the market and a lot of them go out of business every year, but Stossel's example of a "family farm" was some 12,000 acre cotton-growing business.  That's not a family farm, it's a large farm that just happens to be family-owned.  Also, Stossel never disclosed what said large farm's operating budgets were, spouting off some vague rhetoric about them being "welfare queens."  Am I to know whether this farm is abusing its farm subsidies or not?  I guess it doesn't matter; Fred and Larry Starrh were laughing at Stossel because they had been corrupted by welfare, not because they were being interviewed by some whiny-voiced arse with a thick moustache.  Right?

  • Myth #3: "OUTSOURCING IS BAD!"  Stossel: "OUTSOURCING IS SO GREAT EVERYONE SHOULD DO IT!"  What a dangerous thing to say.  Outsourcing is sometimes economically smart, but the danger of outsourcing lies within what corporations are willing to pay people in the countries they're outsourcing to.  In Stossel's magical fantasy world, sweatshops must be great because they save clothing manufacturers tons of money, right?  Those savings are passed on to you, aren't they?  WORK HARD, AND EACH DAY ZUTROY GETS A SHINY PENNY!

    Outsourcing is a fact of business life, but it's not some magic panacea for all its problems.  The only factor that really matters from a consumer's point of view is how quality the product is, and outsourcing to a cheaper country like Mexico sometimes leads to a decline in said quality due to the materials used in manufacturing, sloppier work and/or how workers' rights in that country are monitored.  That's what bothers opponents of outsourcing, not the outsourcing itself.  Again, Stossel's painting a grey area in black and white colours.  Basically, Stossel is calling Lou Dobbs a poopyhead despite the fact that Lou Dobbs is a business reporter and might better understand what he's talking about than general-interest investigative reporter Stossel.  I wonder why Stossel didn't Michael Savage the guy and call him a "RED DIAPER DOPER BABY!"  That damn liberal CNN...

  • Myth #2: "URBAN SPRAWL IS RUINING AMERICA!"  Stossel: "NO IT ISN'T!  95% OF THE COUNTRY IS UNDEVELOPED!"  Again, another Stossel tactic: throw away one half of the evidence to prove your point.  James Kunstler is right, to a point.  Suburbs are cookie-cutter environments; there's no way to get around their artificiality and the standardized construction that goes into these homes.  They're predictably built and made to appeal to a middle-of-the-road mentality.  Still, Stossel pointed to Portland, Oregon's "smart growth" plan as stupid because of Portland's limiting the growth of the city, causing the housing market to skyrocket.  Well, duh, that's what happens in real estate when buildings become limited commodities in a desirable west-coast metropolis.  The real growth, in my opinion, is in the rural areas and small cities, where disgruntled city folk express their desire to live in an environment with a little more unpredictability and quiet to it.  The housing's sometimes cheaper, too.  Maybe urban sprawl isn't ruining America, but Stossel isn't even giving the concept the right to exist.

    By the way, I wonder how much his apartment costs a month.  He can't be living in a dump, considering he has to be raking in the g's as a mainstream network news anchor.  Then again, he's not a victim of urban sprawl.  I think the man can afford not to pay attention to it.

  • Myth No. 1: "SHARING'S GOOD!"  Stossel: "NO, PRIVATE OWNERSHIP IS!"  Stossel proves this point by comparing a poorly kept public toilet to a fucking talking luxury toilet.  That's brilliant.  I've been to the toilets at Carleton University - a privately run university, I might add.  Some of the toilets are terrible there and the uni only recently (i.e., early 2004) started to install self-flushing urinals in some bathrooms, only because the university's hell-bent on improving its image (and not, if I may editorialize, the quality of the education there - sorry, I'm one of those disgruntled Carleton students you may have heard about.)  The quality of a resource is only as good as its maintenance, nothing else.

    I'm basically going to gloss over Stossel's bringing up forest fires happening on "government land" - which I'm pretty sure has something to do with the forests' locations - and bringing up communal farming programs that Stalin and Mao initiated.  I mean, bringing up totalitarian regimes' "work programs?"  That's just crass.  Basically, these are more examples of Stossel's your-enemy-my-friend way of thinking - if public maintenance is bad, private maintenance has to be good.  Stossel's mind doesn't seem to accept third-party thinking.  I feel for the man, really I do.

    As an aside, there was a high school teacher by the name of Tori Haidinger that did an experiment (read: "pushed a blatant agenda") where she gave beakers of Hershey's Kisses to groups of students and asked them to share said candies amongst themselves.  Any candies left over at the end of the experiment would be doubled.  If the students knew about the doubling stip, why didn't the groups take one candy to start with knowing full well that they would have the maximum number of candies possible at the end of the experiment?  Again, management.  Geez, smart class there Haidinger.  Glad to see great teaching methods at work, hon.

Anyway, I'm keeping an eye on Stossel from now on.  The man has used a somewhat important television forum (though I'd hardly call the show that interviewed a fake Buckwheat too important - more important than 60 Minutes Wednesday, maybe, but what isn't) and, as expected, is turning it into his own personal mental lav now that Baba Wawa's fragrant droppings are becoming a distant memory.  If you think the mainstream media's 100% liberal, watch Stossel and tell me that's true, mmmkay?  The right-wing dittoheads aren't all on Fox News or up Michael Savage's ass.

By the way, I consider myself a centrist, just so I don't get swept up in cries of me being "fag liberal" or "fucking conservative."  I just don't like bad journalism, is all.  If it makes anyone feel better, last Wednesday's the fifth estate was almost as bad as Stossel's baby, but that's another story for another day, preferably one where I don't get irritated writing the name "Dan Rather" eighteen times in a sentence.  Bloody Texan.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


I recently downloaded a program that grabs streaming audio so that I may bring you this piece from CBC Radio One's Definitely Not The Opera.  It's about the Daivari/Hassan characters and how they differ from other mainstream Muslim characters within the vast, bubbling vat of "pop culture".  It's a standard CBC piece, to be honest, and I'm not too fond of the "wrestling is fairytale" bit they tack on at the end.  Still, I normally don't do MP3s so listen to the segment and judge for yourself whether the CBC did right by wrestling or not.

By the way, I'm sending this link to PWInsider and other "serious" mainstream wrestling sites, so let's see how far this meme goes by tomorrow, mmmkay?  Alright.  Considering I'll be writing for TheDDT again very soon (and Unrestrained! - man, I'm a train wreck of luck these days, aren't I?) tomorrow should be quite interesting indeed...

UPDATE (01.30.2005):  I broke my previous record of 83 hits for the blog (according to my ExtremeTracking hit counter, anyway) and the record number of hits for URBMN seems to have been set at 370 as of this writing.  As of January 30, the official URBMN record for hits in a day stands now at 407.

The weird thing is, Dave Scherer is the only man to have reported this info correctly.  Dave Meltzer misspelled the link and the syndie twats are reporting that the audio is from CBS (which is impossible as CBS has not had a proper radio network in decades.)  Man, this is helping kill whatever little respect I held out for the "wrestling newzboard" kids in the first place.  Hey, thanks for the attention, but you berks fucked up on the absolute easiest of tasks.  At least this gives me more column fodder for TheDDT.  Dumb 13-year-old Internerds.

One good thing did come out of this, though.  I want you all to pay attention to The Warrior Project, borne of a stupid picture I made in GIMP one day to capitalize on this whole fracas.  The project is under my control now and I will be doing articles for TheDDT under The Warrior Project banner just as soon as Jimmy Reject stops with his experiments on how to rotate on one's thumb.  Pictures for The Warrior Project are being submitted through TheDDT.com's forum and through email, so lessee where this bastard goes.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Well, today I just installed the WordPress blog system for use as the new content management system for URBMN, which means I'll be moving away from Blogger eventually.  It won't be a dump-the-readers-on-their-asses move as the transition will take as long as it takes for me to learn how to convert the Blogger template to WordPress, fully utilize all that WP has to offer etc.  Still, the Blogger people have recently taken six days out of seven to fix FTP/JavaScript problems they've been having with regards to recognizing my FTP server.  It's time for me to move.

LOOK AT THE HAPPY MANSeriously, what is the problem with Blogger lately?  First it was the snafu with the dirty words (one of the half-decent theDDT writers, Rogue Iannone, suggested I spell the words the way spammers do, but the spammers are more interested in selling me shitty penny stocks these days so it arses the point a tad.)  Now it's Blogger's constantly having problems on their end with regards to my blog and perhaps others with similar setups.  Blogger has gone from being a trusted ally to ending up as a bloody nuisance, so am I the only one having problems with the service these days?  I honestly don't think I am.  Today I had to go through some incompetent doctor's recommendations regarding Effexor and weight gain as the woman told me nothing I hadn't figured out already.  I've heard more than a few complaints from people about her; the doctor came from Halifax and it's obvious she considers working in Stirling, Ontario - a town of about 1800 people - a comedown.  Honestly, why would I need another minor annoyance today with Blogger after going through this shit?

Anyway, that's the reason why you haven't seen me post in a few days.  Trust me, I've been meaning to do Feeds of the Moment posts, but I've been busy with other things and I can't wait for Blogger to resolve problems regarding its recognization of my FTP settings.  I'm not impatient, and UR doesn't rule my life (I do have other interests besides this site, you know) but there's only so much crap I can take from centralized content management systems.  I feel like telling Blogger to suck my 7H1C|< M3ETe B0|\|3R.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


I just recently changed servers from ShieldHost to Two-A-T.com and I must say I enjoy Two-A-T's service a lot better already, if only because the support team takes one to three hours to contact me instead of ShieldHost's twelve to twenty-four.  I enjoyed being with ShieldHost, but there were some complaints about the webhost and its legitimacy.  I've never had a real problem with ShieldHost and the webhost seems to be improving a bit, but that's because I did my research and weighed the pros and cons of my decision first.  The company is decent enough as a starter host, in my opinion, and a fair number of ShieldHost complaints seemed to come from people expecting to run their e-businesses from the ShieldHost servers.  I don't know why people would want to run an e-business through a $1.99-for-200-MB webhost, honestly.  Still, support is terrible there, and I'd read that support was second-to-none at 2AT from HostRatings.com users.  Also, James Ryder recommended Two-A-T to me as a worker there does some admin work for his messageboard so...here I am.  I'm still mulling over using the ShieldHost account for backup purposes, so I'll update the situation with regards to 2AT and ShieldHost in the coming weeks.

BLACK METAL COUNTRY CHAP W/CAKEYou may also have noticed that parts of this site were down in the past two days as the changeover wasn't exactly as smooth as I'd wanted it to be, but the site's up and everything seems to be in order now that the domain name servers have finalized their recognition of the switch.  I'll continue with my sifting/smartass commenting schtick for UR and blogs in the coming days, and The UR Blog has officially become URBMN as part of the merger process of the two blogs into one blog family.  Simply put, I'm posting the same articles for two blogs now instead of one.  For Firefox users, you'll also notice the icons for both sites have changed to reflect the merger - basically, it's that stupid tongue pip I put in my articles these days but altered to ape the previous UR Blog logo.  URBMN proper will be launched within a few months.

Finally, in the greatest WTF moment since the Bunchofuckingoofs guy gave a thumbs-up to my site, John Chedsey (!) decided to play a pointless game of e-mail tag with me last night.  I have no idea why he did this - he doesn't seem to be too pissed off at me despite the negative opinions I've hurled towards him in the past - but I think it's a sign that I've reached that vaunted "next level" I've been working way too damn hard to reach since at least 2001.  I don't garner any real ill will towards Chedsey (shit knows I was in a half-suicidal mood when I wrote that 2¢ Worth review a year ago), but I don't know whether he's trying to befriend, berate or blow me.  He sends those mixed signals, y'know?  Weird guy, that Chedsey fella.

Monday, January 10, 2005


Note: This is a parody post, for those who don't understand subtle (pfhhh) wrestling humour.  I don't have anything against anyone I linked in this post (aside from TheWrestlingBlog - the IWC's simulacrum of a blog, indeed) so if this offends anyone, I've done my job.  Let me know if you want to be removed in this instance.


I WILL DO WHAT I WANNA DO WHEN I WANNA DO IT Off The Line! | Who booked Randy Orton to go over Triple H?  Triple H made Randy Orton and unmade him at the same time!  You don't know shit about wrestling, kid, because Triple H is the greatest World Champion of ALL TIME!

BenMaller.com | Brock Lesnar screwed Brock Lesnar.  When he comes back to the WWE, Triple H will expose Brock Lesnar for the puny little nothing he is, because he has never beaten THE GAME!

lori braun and femalemuscle.com bodybuilding blog | Funny thing, Chyna's telling Triple H she could lift more than him caused Triple H to more heavily pursue bodybuilding!  How do you think he became THE GAME?  That bodybuilding has directly helped him to become the greatest World Champion in history!  TRIPLE H MADE THIS BUSINESS WHAT IT IS!  HE MADE MICK FOLEY QUIT!

Spleen-Venting | Who said you could watch other wrestling feds besides WWE?  What are you, another "Internerd reporter?"  TRIPLE H IS THE GREATEST!  HE UNMASKED KANE, YOU UNGRATEFUL MARK!

My life or something like it | LeAnn Rimes fans?  They still exist?  Are they like Goldberg fans, because Triple H KILLED the last of them after he beat Goldberg!  Who was next?  GOLDBERG WAS NEXT!  GAME!

This is me.. : ) | INTERNERD!  GAME!

satan_child_88 | INTERNERD!  GAME!

E M E R G I C . o r g | INTERNERD!  GAME!

Basketball and Video Games | What are you talking about, kid?  LeBron James isn't fit to hold Triple H's jock!  Never mind the massive amounts of HGH and anabolics I'm sure The Game's purchased from Lex Luger, TRIPLE H IS ALL NATURAL!  LIKE BATISTA!


My life is Gemstone | Listen to this kid whine!  Do you think HHH whined when he suffered a torn quad?  Well, constantly considering all those "Desire" video packages, BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT!  HE CAME BACK BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE, AND THAT'S WHY HE'S THE REIGNING WORLD CHAMPION YOU LOSER!  GREATEST OF ALL TIME!  HARLEY RACE!


the wrestling blog | Hey, KenAnderson, why are you making fun of Vince?  Vince McMahon made this business and Triple H is bringing it to the next level!  Hey Internerd, don't get pissy with me because Evolution just passed you by!  LET'S SEE YOU WIN A WORLD TITLE, YOU FAT SMARKY 13-YEAR-OLD INTERNERD KID!  RIC FLAIR!


beautiful_sole | INTERNERD!  GAME!


riu | Batista: (unintelligible grunts, then something about shoes)

hitrat | Hey, Triple H likes furries!  He's great friends with X-Pac, after all, but X-PAC SOLD OUT TO TOTAL NONSTOP RUSSO AND HE'S NOT EVEN MANLIER THAN CHYNA!  TRIPLE H TRADED UP, BABY!  THAT'S WHY HE'S THE GAME!


dj_keyserv140 | Of course it's ominous that HHH is the ten-time world champion!  HE'S THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS BECAUSE HE IS THAT DAMN GOOD-UH!




Big Nate's Thoughts - Age Of Empires | GAMERGAME!  INT!


Pots and Pans Ink | Why are you doing this fantasy booking?  LEAVE THE BOOKING TO TRIP...UH, I MEAN STEPHANIE MCM...OH SHUT UP YOU FAT KID!!!  YOU KNOW NOTHING!

Kickass Kickass Kickass Kickass | All right, who let Batista near the computer?  Was it you, Flair?  That Randy Orton kid's influencing him too much!  Wait, that may be Nash influencing him, that lazy cripple...

Wading in the Velvet Sea | Crippler CrossBlog?  I'll have you know I'm...wait, don't want to blow my cover...HE'S WRITING...uh...SHUT UP YOU KNOW-NOTHING!  CHRIS BENOIT WILL GET HIS DAY YET!

mrnewz | All right, I'll admit it, I am The Game!  I'm better than you little web geeks thinking you can book for the WWE!  ONLY I CAN BOOK FOR THE WWE, AND WARRIOR OWES ME A JOB!  I HOPE YOU'RE READING THIS, WARRIOR, I WANT PAYBACK FOR ME PUTTING YOU OVER!  DO THE JOB, WARRIOR!

chi_town_13 | I ate my way to the top?  No, you're confusing me with either The Big Show or my wife.  Just kidding, my little Stephy-wephy, kisses for the poochie ^X^

crazydeltaman | What's Mordecai doing revealing the business to the web nerds?  I'm gonna get Steph to job him to this CW Anderson guy.  Don't play the game, kid, UNLESS YOU WANNA GET BURNT!  HAHAHAHAHAAAA I'm so funny with my Taker jokes, I love that guy

slimshadey | Hey, one of the guys from Full House liked my Elimination Chamber match!  Neat!  I'm going to coerce Vince to sign him to a development deal.  I love that show.  Too bad he thinks he's John Cena, though.


Kelly | I wonder why Jimmy Fallon's so broke.  Maybe if he was with us in the Kliq, he'd be at the top of his game.  THAT'S WHY I'M THE GAME AND HE'S JUST AN UNFUNNY COMEDIAN - man, I should Pedigree him.

mr13yroldnewzinternerd | Ah, me burying Eugene.  Good times.  I hate Nick Dinsmore.

hocuspukeus | I wonder what Lita's doing going to school.  Heh, I should get Steph or that Gerwitz dink to change her gimmick to Doink the Clown.  Then I'll get Nick Dinsmore to job to her.  Heh, that'll draw >B

dead_magnum | INTERNERD!  GOLF!  Heh, I really am a comedian.  I should get into that once I get my twentieth World Title.  When will that be, oh...let's say December 5, 2006

rvdsabu | Oh, that is IT, I'm sick of RVD running his mouth like this.  I'm gonna get Steph to have RVD job to Doug Basham 27 times.  That'll teach that fuckin' pothead.


Active Domain | Hey, that's a good idea!  The Triple H show starring Triple H and with me as musical guest!  I gotta run this one by Vince, he'll love this one.  Man, I love myself.

Big Fish Cake | Yeah, I did save Blade: Trinity from sucking.  Hell, they should have based the whole film around me, really.  I'm such a modest man.  I'd probably have a career in Hollywood if they weren't so big on minorities.  They're only hiring The Rock 'cause he's Samoan, you know.  Heh, I carried that man so far...


J-Stew | What, someone gets quoted in a Boston Globe article and all of a sudden this knob is an Internerd "wrestling reporter?"  GO TO A GYM!  WHO CAERS IF YOU CANT SPEL!

JR's Blog | What the...it says JR's Blog, but there are all these funny lines in it.  Must've been Tajiri hacking into JR's homepage.  I'm gonna bury the little nip myself.  I really really hate that guy.



Sunday, January 09, 2005


Maxthon vs. Opera Round 1, winner becomes my alternative alternative browser: Maxthon's kicking Opera's ass.  At least Opera isn't crashing eighteen times a second like it did when I uninstalled it back when Opera 6 was a going concern, but I'm already liking Maxthon's stability.  It gained what Avant really lost when the former IE Opera (Avant, for those not familiar with the Satanic Browser Verses) squeezed out its version 10.  Still, all the bells and whistles and what I really want is stability and the ability to keep ten documents going without crashing every six seconds.  That's why I was a K-Meleon fan - I hope that browser can catch up from where it left off, too, 'cause it's losing a lot of ground to Firefox.

Browser wars are exciting.

Unleash the Bowflex POWERBlogdigger GreenCine Daily PopMatters | GreenCine Daily lists a bunch of film best-ofs from PopMatters, even though 2004 has been dead for about nine days now.  It's probably PopMatters' fault for releasing its best-ofs so late, but whathehell.  The Worst Media Events article is worth a look, especially considering Terry Sawyer avoided NIP SLIP and LIP SLIP and included Star "I AM a lawyer" Jones and Law & Order in his list.  The man knows where the real problems are with regards to the entertainment media.

Blogdigger OutofRange | Rather redundant reprinting of reviews from British paper The Observer - if I wanted a bunch of reviews from The Observer, I'd go to the paper's web site.  I'm just sayin' is all.

Blogdigger The Movie Blog | About an Australian thriller playing at Sundance.  The blogger reporting this calls Wolf Creek a horror film, which it probably isn't. The film sounds somewhat promising, though.  The reason Australian horror films haven't been exploited that much is the fact (noted in the blog comments) that there isn't much to exploit.  Canadians love to complain about the film industry here, but at least this country has horror films to exploit (Ginger Snaps and Donnie Darko being almost markets unto themselves in North America.)  In Australia it's Razorback and little else, really.

Guardian Unlimited Guardian Unlimited "Heavy metal pioneer" "Jerky, punky, funky" | Career overviews of metal sculptor Anthony Caro and new wave/punk band Gang of Four.  Surprisingly, the two articles aren't all that different from each other.  Basically, they're both standard (yet well-written) "X has/have been (an) outsider(s) for such and such a time and here's why X is/are important" articles.  Not surprisingly, both subjects have a place to exhibit their latest works.  Hope you brought your MONEY.

Google News Denver Post | Denver Community Television is falling apart.  I hope DCTV can keep itself together during this crisis, but the field of public-access television needs to undergo a crucial makeover if it is to succeed into the next century.  Considering the Internet is lapping public-access TV in terms of quality and diversity of programming at this point, the public-access people should seriously be thinking about UHF (antenna-only) programming.  The networks and their local affiliates/O&O's are abandoning that market, and there's a surprising market for local UHF programming if any entrepreneurs decide to enter that field.

Seriously, antenna-only television might see a renaissance in the next ten years.  It sounds crazy, but low-power community radio stations have existed for quite a few years so community television's not out of the question yet.

Film Threat Film Threat | Short film with idiotic title deals with Jesus' resurrection as a flesh-eating zombie.  The film sounds blasphemously awesome, but Beaster?  Every time I hear that name I keep thinking of that purple schmuck from My Pet Monster (BEASTUR GET MONSTER), not an undead zombie Jesus.  I would have called this film Dawn of the Christ, but no one ever asks me to do consulting work so bully for you, Mr. Campos.

I like Film Threat, by the way.  The site's decent enough to consider Anchorman in its top ten, which is the way things damn well should be.  Will Ferrell's a comic diety unto himself.

Livejournal - Interests zine_scene | LiveJournal print 'zine community.  Personally, I'm only linking this to demonstrate how many search engines I'm using for this article, but this LJ seems to be more useful and vibrant than any random community I could choose from this list.  Honestly, I imagine eighty percent of these LJs could be wiped off the face of the map and nobody would give a shit.  Nobody.

Syndic8 Heroes from the Past | I'm curious to know the process that Syndic8 uses to choose feeds from the hundreds it must get every second.  Heroes from the Past seems to be a decent (if sparse) news-related blog, and it introduced me to Ralph Nader vs. The Puppets Of DOOOOOOM.

Anyone remember when Nader was actually respectable?  Man, from serving on the staff of Consumers Union to hawking what looks to be a lame Saturday Night Live-ripoff puppet sketch.  So this is how he's been pissing away his good name and legacy, huh?

Google News Silicon Valley's Metro (California) | Mike Park likes Fishbone enough to release three of bandmember Angelo Moore's poetry CD's on Park's Asian Man Records label.  I know Asian Man Records is supposed to be a well-regarded pop-punk label, but that's just sad.  There's a difference between empathizing with a critically-acclaimed but barely loved band and sticking one's tongue down Angelo Moore's pants, and I don't think there's a pinkish colour to Moore's tongue anymore.  Still, he's the Fishbone fan so I can't control his actions.

Memepool Garden of Eden (Lucas, Kansas) | Usually I don't cut and paste from the sources I cull, but yoyology describes what he submitted so well that my words aren't really needed in this instance:

S.P. Dinsmoor (not to be confused with Dinsdale) began, at the age of 64, to build a monument that would stand long after he was gone. With 2,273 sacks of cement and countless tons of limestone, he constructed a "log" home and sculpture garden in Lucas, Kansas called the Garden of Eden. As if the whole place weren't creepy enough, one of the exhibits is Dinsmoor himself, in a homemade glass-topped concrete coffin.

The Garden of Eden must be one fun tourist trap, I imagine.

Slo-Metal.com | This site linked to me through one of its forums.  I don't understand Slovak, so I don't know if these guys are making fun of me or enjoying what I do.  Anybody care to guess why they linked me?  Hey, I enjoy the extra hits but I'm just curious as to why I'm linked through here.  Not that I'm knocking it, of course.

Saturday, January 08, 2005


God of the Machine | This doesn't have a source image because I found this through Google while searching something for purposes beyond this feature.  This blog is sort of entertaining, although it seems to be fond of the academic side of debate with regards to philosophy and why it's essentially bunk.  Either Aaron Haspel's writing style has changed in two years (this is how I discovered God of the Machine, whilst searching for stuff on DailyPundit) or he's writing like this for the self-absorbed fun of it, but this is mildly diverting.  He's comfortable with writing in a thick and impenetrable fog, though, so don't go here if you're looking for fluffiness and kittens.

wft bnoerGoogle News The Japan Times | Searches for "death metal" have been kind of fallow lately, so the Google News pip makes its debut locating an article about a vaguely new wave revival band ("taking its cues from punk rock, electronica and '80s dark-wave synth pop" - yeah, new wave revival in a nutshell) called The Faint.  Surprisingly, these guys are from Omaha, Nebraska so they very well could have a legitimate sound to exploit and make money off of.  The lead guitarist played in a death metal band, so The Faint sound more promising than most.

Yahoo News Mt. Vernon Register-News (Illinois) | Herb Edson just doesn't understand why the kids are into what he considers crap, then reminisces about the boogie-woogie of his youth.  This man can't be real, because near the end of this article he talks about how the lyrics to the songs he likes were all love songs and the dialects are so impenetrable it's impossible to tell if they are or not.  The man has his opinion, but this article is like warmed-over Andy Rooney parody at best - which is probably why the Mt. Vernon Register-News hired him, I imagine.

Alltheweb News The Chattanoogan (Tennessee) | Review of an album by a surf band using the time-worn "kaiju" gimmick.  Based on what the band is described as, they probably wouldn't have sounded out of place on Mai Tai Records (when that label was a going concern) and will probably release something on Estrus in 2007.  I really should tell the reviewer how homosexual he is and recommend some Bon Jovi to him instead, but that was a high-school in-joke and I'm not that bulletheaded to stretch that joke out to its breaking point.

Finally, today's article is so bereft of linkage that I'm forced to give space to some links I visited by way of No Rock'n'Roll Fun.  You might enjoy these sites; I'm basically linking to them to see if they'll link me and to fill out a weak, weak Saturday column.

[parallax view] | Methinks 'Dead Kenny' "appropriated" my compendium idea; he's commented here before, though, so I imagine he enjoys the site as I do his
rock and roll means fuck - How the hell did the guy get away with using "fuck" in one of his blog entries, anyway?  Makes no sense to me, but there it is.


Lately some of my blog posts have been disappearing due to the fact that I've been including "profanities" in the title field of said posts.  The "deleted" posts still exist in some form within the blog archives of the www.sweetposer.tk/www.sweetposer.com site, but headlines containing terms like "wtf" and "boner" cannot exist on a Blogger-based blog system for very long.  I can swear like a stevedore in the body of the posts, but put a dirty word in the title and the entire post is deleted, even if the title's referencing bad Saturday Night Live commercials and/or even hinting at profanity.

Media BlabTo be honest, I don't know why Blogger does this.  I understand if I was on Blogpost why this stuff would happen, but I've been publishing to my own site for ten months.  I don't understand the self-censoring in this instance.  In addition, the filter isn't even that smart - it seems that Blogger just automatically deletes any instance of profanity it finds between the HTML title tags.  It's an egregious bit of filtering - two previous posts of mine were deleted even though the term "wtf" wasn't even referenced on its own but as three letters in the name of an image - the image I've been using for the past two days as part of the title for UR Music News' Feeds of the Moment.  It's not intelligent filtering, that's for sure.  The same image will be used under a different filename starting today, just to make sure deletions don't keep happening on a daily basis.

If I've been breaking the Terms of Service, I apologize - both instances where I "swore" weren't referring to sex per se but directly have a relationship with sexual acts.  I think Blogger should let all its users know what words cannot be used in the headlines of blog posts, as it would make things easier for people who find themselves in situations like mine.  Still, I'd never had a problem with Blogger (however minor said problem may be, and this is minor) before this, and it makes me want to switch to a different blogging system (e.g., Drupal, Movable Type, Wordpress.)  I like Blogger, but something tells me I need to move sometime soon to a blogging system I can have more control over.  Nothing personal to Google or its Blogger subsidiary, but I just find this problem kind of weird.


The logos you see to the left of the links were either converted directly from the Firefox search engine plugin's source icon or from the site's favicon.ico icon.  No copyright infringement is intended; the logos are just there to denote where the link was found.  More logos will be added as I begin to use more search engines.

Blogdigger None of the Above | The Caninus meme infects another poor soul.  Nice blog Peter Bergin has here, but considering it's a personal blog it's good for a few shits and giggles and an hour later you forget your mind has eaten there.  At least it's not a glorified LiveJournal, though.

Blogdigger LokiTorrent Recent Torrents | Torrent of an album by Phobia.  Now, I would never (*cough*) suggest you download this album, 'cause I imagine you can get it at a fair price from a number of grindcore distros anyway.  Slap-A-Ham released good shit until the label went bankrupt some time ago.  The label's death was a real shame, honestly.  Slap-A-Ham remains a minor legend in the field of grindcore/punk and it will be missed.

Blogdigger Guardian Unlimited Arts | A month-old article reprinting John Peel's preface to the recently-published Feral House book Choosing Death.  I don't need to read this to know how good John Peel was as a writer and broadcaster, but he made me realize why I got into death metal in the first place.  Well, that innocence died by my and the mainstream metal scene's hands, so I too realize how much the grindcore scene has been raped in the past ten or so years.  I'm still searching for a scene like the 1980's-era grindcore scene, really.

Blogdigger Planethalder | A site I've never heard of apparently did a survey (hey, yo) that claims a blog readership of 27 percent out of the people they've surveyed.  I'm not surprised considering how infant the blogging medium is, but the growth of the medium seems to be slow (I'm assuming a 20% readership in 2003.)  Even considering the fact that this is a survey, this is sort of a slap in the face to the people who insist that blogs came of age in 2004.  The medium still has a ways left to go before it enters total mainstream consciousness.  Of course, blogging does help my Alexa rating, I'll admit that.  Not that I worry about my Alexa rating, of course.

Blogdigger Microsoft Monitor | Apparently Sony and Microsoft are talking about forming a joint venture to take on the iTunes/iPod "monopoly."  Didn't Microsoft bail out Apple in 1998?  Honestly, I'd be calling in a favour there considering Microsoft really should be working with Apple, not against them.

If Microsoft were really desperate to compete against Apple in the "digital music" business it wouldn't be a stupid strategy to work something out with GE and NBC Universal, where corporate synergy has worked there in the past (e.g., MSNBC.)  To my way of thinking, there really isn't much difference between Sony and NBC Universal as they both have a sizable share of the entertainment industry market, and GE/RCA could better afford to put out a loss-leader as their products are noted for being good-quality for the price.  Sony can afford to enter the digital music business on their own, and I doubt the Sony-Microsoft deal will go down.  I can't see it happening, sorry.

Blogdigger www.gadgetguy.de - The GadgetGuy Techdirt Corporate Intelligence | The iPhone.  This is really getting ridiculous - the LG TV/refrigerator, the Sharp toaster/microwave, and now the iPod crammed into an already-overstuffed cell phone.  This seems like the first chink in Apple's iPod armour - Motorola products really aren't that good considering there are better choices out there.  The iPod "monopoly" will collapse by 2007, I can just see it.  The iPod = the Sega Dreamcast of 2004.  The fad won't last.

Blogdigger I Hate Crap | Basically, this is one man's complaint about the fun world of automated service.  Pretty basic rant, and I imagine we've all been through this before.  Rather entertaining read, though.

Blogdigger AlterSlash (Extended Remix) | The link doesn't really work, but I did find out that zed.cbc.ca is switching to Ogg Vorbis streaming feeds and opening up its source code.  Now, if ZeD could open up the show's content base so that it doesn't seem so hipster/trend-oriented, ZeD would really break some ground, you know?

Blogdigger ProHipHop HipHopGame | I don't like hip-hop at all, but this came up and should be of some interest to those more interested in this type of music so...well, here it is.  Personally, I haven't heard of any of these guys on this "best of 2005" list so I can't comment on this.

Blogdigger Boing Boing | Advertisement for a bog-standard monochrome T-shirt with a slogan literally stolen from the 1980's.  Still, I saw this site in the background of a CBC Ottawa Canada Now segment on online tsunami relief funds yesterday!  OMG BRUSH W/GREATNESS

Blogdigger Daily Pundit BBC News: Entertainment | IRRITATING "OMG! FILE SHARING=STEALING!"/"NO IT'S NOT YOU STUPID BINT, FILE SHARING DOESN'T DO SHIT" debate in the electronic pages of The Daily Pundit.  No one goes after David Gillies for transposing the RIAA with the MPAA (Jack Valenti?  What?) or getting the name of the BBC wrong, but this seems like a political blog and said blogs are all tongue-in-the-bung affairs anyway.  I'd go into the hows and whys of file-sharing but this circular arguing actually makes me want to kick my monitor in.

Blogdigger theboxtank New York Times | 95% of all residential homes in America are prefabricated, apparently.  That is astounding, and I think that's actually interesting news.  Why, then, does theboxtank relate that to a story about Ashlee furshlugginer Simpson?  Way to downshift that argument, guy.

Technorati I am a bug | The lone Technorati listing on here, this is a top-hundred list from...someone.  It's so mainstream-oriented, and I think this belongs to a guy that DJs at a radio station somewhere.  I like the fact that choice #100 on this guy's list is an album that has to be thirty years old by now.  Got to keep the loonies on the path, you know...


Tonight I am going to debut a new feature for The UR Blog/Music News (heretofore referred to as URBMN.)  As part of my "broadening the site to a wider audience" process (my Chase for the Nextel Cup if you weel - yes, I'm referring to NASCAR now that it's going upscale) I'm going to find articles and bits of lint that wash ashore from certain blog search sites/mainstream news sources/etc. and disseminate them for my supposed audience.  Basically, I'm using the Firefox search toolbar and wadding links that interest me into a link dump with my smartass comments.  Yes, this could be construed as "hackwork" or "lazy journalism," but every journalist falls back on his formulae every now and then.  I'm not in the running for the Pulitzer here, you know, it's just a feature to keep you readers interested during my "fallow periods" (see: 2000-2003.)

This is the first new feature in a series of four that I am debuting this month.  Let me know whether you find this feature useful or not by writing me at [email protected] or using the comments form below.  The other three features will be entitled Sports Compendium (which takes over from Hockey Lockout Compendium), Media Blab and UR Updates (basically, what I've used The UR Blog for since March 2004) as I continue with the great experiment in Becoming Respectable that I'm sure is going to alienate hardcore fans.  It's something I take great pride in, alienating fans.  It means I'm doing something right.  My audience is a hard-won lot, we all know that by now.

http://www.livejournal.com/users/__rudexscenster/ | This is a LiveJournal that is supposed to make fun of all "scenes," although there's a bit of Fandom Wank-worthy bint-slapping here.  I don't exactly know what happened here and this seems to be one of those "you crapped in my Corn Flakes"-type moments that happens in music scenes all the time.  The idea's nice, but I'm not a fan of the execution - there's way too much emphasis on making fun of emo kids and the writing style is typical LiveJournal bantering.  Still, the LJ is not a serious thing so I doubt the LJ user who writes this is too worried about what I think about the site.  Come on, it's a LiveJournal.

Blaine Buxton: Positronic Vibrations From Alto Dorado | Blogger/programmer who seems to be a fan of metal.  He has a top-20 of 2004 and it's nothing out of the ordinary but at least he's honest about what he likes and I can't complain too much about his tastes.  Still, this guy wrote what seems to be the most confusing line from a metal fan I've read so far in 2005:

I bought a lot of old Depeche Mode and went back to purchase a lot of the old Earache catalog.


sacramento.craigslist.org | Craigslist.org personal ad from a death metal band in Sacramento.  Anyone from the Sacramento area should contact this band, as it's nice to see there's a death metal scene there.  I haven't heard the band's song yet, though.

portland.craigslist.org | Two death metal musicians and one female Husky are looking for a roommate.  That's nice, but why did the metal guys let the dog write the personal ad?  Must be one of those mutant marsupial dogs, I guess.

My So-called Penis | This guy's going into the "Major Links" section of The UR Blog soon, I was so impressed with the blog.  I like that Wil Forbis made a silhouette of a pair of testicles look surprisingly tasteful.  That honestly takes effort.

Edmonton Sun | Interview with Axis of Advance.  Last I heard, the band was signed to Osmose Productions (the indie-cum-almost-Relapse of the 2000's) and it's nice to see someone give them an interview.  Still, Mike Ross overhypes the band a bit - calling them heavier than death metal?  Never a good idea, man.  This isn't really vintage Ross - it reads almost like reheated mental potatoes, to be honest.  The article's still credibly done, though.

Riverfront Times (Missouri) | The Greil Marcus Rock Death Meter makes a comeback in the hands of John Goddard and John Nova Lomax.  In their estimation, Dimebag Darrell leads the list of rock deaths this year with a score of 24 out of a possible 30 points.  I honestly can't argue with that choice, even though Dimebag Darrell Abbott's death was ridiculously over-reported in 2004.  Man, people were giving Darrell more space in death than they did when he was alive, which is saying something.  Still, Dimebag will be missed.

East Bay Express (California) | Wha...?  Rob Harvilla actually recommended a black metal band?  Wow, am I wrong about the guy's writing?  Kind of surprising that Alternative Tentacles actually signed a black metal band, actually, but black metal seems to be one of the "in" things with indie and/or punk kids sometimes.  I can't explain it, Jello Biafra's label is weird like that.

East Bay Express | I am wrong about the guy's writing!  Wow, this actually makes up for the jokes I made at his expense while doing the Best-Of Compendium.  Honestly, he's one of the first people I've seen in a while that admits that every critic - including me - sometimes uses lazy critical shorthand while writing reviews.  He even included the terms "swirling" and "angular."  I guess Harvilla actually is funny and insightful.  I take back comparisons to Ben Rayner - I apologize for calling you Harvzilla, man.

Heh, I must have caught this writer on a bad day.  Whether said day was his and/or mine, I cannot say.  Maybe I just didn't understand Rob Harvilla's rhythmic wordscapes and soaring grooves of infectious tonalities, or something.  I'm a dumb shit.