Friday, April 29, 2011


"It's Just Like 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'...But For Douche-bags"

I watched the first four episodes of Entourage Season: 6 last night, and the guilt is already beginning to sink in. I feel like a junkie sobering up after a particularly aggressive weekend of binging on everything from China White to Robitussin. Entourage is the most insidious kind of guilty pleasure because of the delight it takes in glamorizing the lives of a bunch of shallow, skirt-chasing mooks who spend more money on clothes, booze, and cars then most of us will see in our entire lives.

A show like Entourage is even more appalling these days, considering the fact that the national unemployment rate- despite a slight drop- is still alarmingly high. People are being tossed out of their homes and into the streets, and the Car Repossession business is booming, but life couldn't be sweeter for Vincent Chase and Co. I almost laughed out loud during a scene where Vinnie was wandering around his palatial estate (right after rolling off of an attractive, blonde waitress he'd brought home earlier that day), sulking about how "bummed out" he was that his friends weren't there to entertain him.

Seriously? Am I really supposed to feel sorry for an actor who gets more vagina than a bottle of Summer's Eve (You're welcome), and rakes in millions of dollars (despite having the onscreen presence of a melting ice cube) because he's "lonely?" In the words of esteemed Rhodes Scholar and zen philosopher, Randy Jackson: "I'm not feelin' it, Dawg."

Monday, April 25, 2011


Pop Muzik Part: 2

It was an agonizingly hot summer day- even by Atlanta standards- back in '00, when my editor dispatched me to interview the Black Eyed Peas at the Tabernacle. The Peas would be performing later that night as an opening act for No Doubt. Keep in mind, the group I interviewed that day in no way resembled their current incarnation. It was the summer of 2000- two years after BEP had generated a nice bit of buzz with the Native Tongues-esque backpack rap of "Behind the Front." When I met them, they were touring with a pre-Hollaback Gwen Stefani, and promoting a mediocre sophomore album ("Bridging the Gap") that wasn’t exactly flying off the shelves.

When I arrived at the Tabernacle, Will, Taboo, and Apl. De. Ap were in the parking lot shooting hoops. I nervously introduced myself as "The guy from Insite," and followed them into their tour bus. The bus was so unbearably hot and humid; my face was, literally, bathed in sweat by the time we'd taken our seats in the rear. I sat to the right of Will. I. Am (who was nice enough to offer me a bottled water) while Taboo glared at me, and Apl (I feel so weird typing that ridiculous name) stared out the window.

After fumbling through my hastily scribbled list of lame, soft ball questions, Will suddenly became animated and genuinely intrigued when I brought up the idea of "mainstream VS. alternative" hip-hop. He asked me to explain what I meant by "mainstream hip-hop artist." I replied that a "mainstream hip-hop artist is someone who alters, or waters down their art to make it more appealing to a larger group of people."

Will bristled at this comment, claiming- as he grew increasingly more animated, moving closer and closer until his face was just inches away from mine- "See? You're wrong right there! There is no such thing as mainstream and alternative hip-hop. The only difference is how they're marketed."

"But what about Kool Keith?" I countered. "On his last album, he was rapping about 'remote control alligators,' and toured the country dressed as 'Black Elvis.' No marketing strategy in the world could ever put him on the same level as Jay-Z and Puff Daddy, because the music isn't all that accessible."

"It's NOT the music," Will claimed. "With the right kind of marketing, Kool Keith could be every bit as popular as Jay-Z without having to water down his style. You don't have to sell out and change your whole style to be on a mainstream level. It's all about how the product is marketed."

Cut to three years later: The little-known alternative hip-hop group critics once hailed as "smart" and "thought-provoking," reinvented themselves by ditching all that "socially conscious" nonsense and recording an awful (yet inexplicably successful) pop album with the woman from failed pop/R&B act, "Wild Orchid."

So much for not having to "change your whole style to be on a mainstream level," eh?

Monday, April 18, 2011


Tabemasu ka?

I've once again resumed my efforts to learn Japanese. My synapses are getting lazy, and they need the exercise now more than ever. For the past few months I've been feeding my cerebellum a steady diet of junk food in the form of reality television, pop culture-fixated websites, and predictable four-camera sitcoms.

I think the simplicity of Japanese is what keeps me coming back to it. Unlike French or Spanish, there is no conjugation of the verbs depending upon the person and number, and no suffixes for nouns. As far as languages go, Japanese is about as concise and straight forward as it gets.

So, umm," これをしましょう," or whatever.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Are you there Cthullu? It's me, Morie

This morning I found myself standing behind an older woman at Quick Trip who radiated crazy energy the way the late (for now) Johnny Storm radiated waves of fiery plasma. The woman had to have been in her 50's, yet she was wearing a skimpy, bright green dress that showed off her wrinkled, olive-colored skin and a faded tattoo of two butterflies on her left shoulder. She wore comically over-sized sunglasses, and spoke with the kind of gravelly rasp that made Macy Gray sound like Jennifer Tilly.

My jaw nearly hit the linoleum floor when I saw her exit the store and hop inside a brand new convertible Audi. This odd looking woman had all the physical characteristics and crazy, hyper-animated mannerisms of your typical, garden variety crazy person, yet she was driving a car worth four times as much as my humble little Korean import.

What the fuck? Was she some rich guy's aging trophy wife? Or am I supposed to believe that this fifty-ish woman with the crazy sunglasses, faded tattoos, and tacky dress is somehow able to hold down a job and make monthly payments on a car worth more than I make in an entire year?

It's been so long since my last Japanese lesson, I've already forgotten an alarming amount of words/phrases. It's so difficult to stay focused on learning a language that you know will serve no purpose whatsoever. It's not like Atlanta is just teeming with Japanese immigrants. If I were more practical I''d forget about Japanese and work on my Spanish. But Spanish is so HARD! I'll never forget how lost I felt in my high school Spanish 101 class when we started conjugating verbs. It was like the proverbial rug had been yanked from beneath my proverbial Pumas.

I tried activating my latent telekinetic abilities today. I'm pretty sure you can imagine how that went.

Friday, February 25, 2011


1st World Problems

I'm totally bummed out by the lack of decent movies opening today. The comedy clubs don't have anybody I want to see either, so I'm faced with three options: I can either A) go on a three-day bender, B) take a swing at a cop and spend the weekend familiarizing myself with one of Fulton County's delightful correctional facilities, or C) take my digital movie camera out around town and see if I come up with any decent footage.

To be honest, these all seem like equally viable options.

Thursday, February 03, 2011



If you haven't heard Marc Maron's tense, hilariously uncomfortable interview with Gallagher, please do yourself a favor and check it out here

Turns out, not only is Gallagher a paranoid, bitter, angry old right-wing, hack. He also has the self-awareness of an infant. I laughed out loud at the following exchange.

Gallagher: (Angrily) See, Marc? With THAT kind of attitude, you'll never work a State Fair!

Maron: Who the fuck wants to work a State Fair?

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Pop Muzick

It's confession time.

I'm no stranger to bad pop music- in fact- I briefly dated Bad Pop Music for a while back in the mid-nineties. It was a tumultuous relationship, fraught with petty arguments, back-stabbing, and miscommunication- but oh, man- the make up sex made it all worthwhile. There was this one thing she used to do with her index finger and a dab of Vaseline that really made my...wait a minute, I'm sorry. I'm getting way off topic here.

Anyway, as I was saying, I'm no stranger to bad pop music. And I'm not talking about the truly unlistenable junk, soullessly churned out by the likes of Lady Gaga, and the Katie Perry Bio-Mecha-Unit 3000. I've always favored what I considered to be the "good" bad pop music, if that makes any sense.

So here's how this is going to work. I've got my Creative Zen Mp3 player fired up, and I'm going to attempt to justify some of the more, shall we say, "questionable" tracks in my library.

Backstreet Boys - Shattered:
I got nothing. Let's move on to the next one.

Uffie - Pop the Glock:
Jesus, this is impossible. I honestly don't even know how to BEGIN defending an auto tune-soaked, faux hip-hop track with lyrics like "Uffie's bangin/ Feadz is bangin'/ time to get low/ do the tootsie roll."

Spice Girls - Wastin' My Time:

Melanie B - Feels So Good: was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis? Shit. This is harder than I thought. Pass.

2NE1- I Don't Care:
.........Fuck. I give up.

Well, I hope this helped shed some light on my eclectic (i,e: "shitty") musical tastes. Personally, I thought it was enlightening, thought-provoking, and even a bit, dare I say, cathartic? Keep a look out for my next entry: An in-depth review of Jesse McCartney’s latest pop/soul masterpiece.

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