Posts tagged ‘America’

It’s bigger than hip-hop

– posted by russellmania3000

Damn, son. Fuck coffee, I’m awake now, ready to go 12 rounds. My employer is a professional sports franchise that will go unnamed, whose mascot is an outsized mutant rabbit named Hip-Hop and he has a supremely gay theme song. I’ve been trying to get it changed to Dead Prez for a while, but to no avail. Something about being family-friendly or whatever, I hear them talk about kids and I tune out. By the way, in our office we can use “gay” as an epithet as much as we like without being sent to sensitivity training or whatever. So if that’s your beef, I really don’t want to hear it.

I work in interactive marketing so I check out the Google competition for anything I’m involved in, just for kicks. I checked for Redikulus a while back and there used to be a lot more that has since dropped off the face of the nets. There was a pretty cool clothing company that I can find neither hide nor hair of anymore. But there are two interesting things of note.

this image's file name is Blexican.jpg. Really.

The first result, regrettably, is for a misspelling of Ridikulus, a Harry Potter spell. Christ, we are in poor company. But more importantly, as luck would have it, there’s a rapper who goes by same, and why shouldn’t there be? We really asked for it when we chose this spelling. Listen Mr. I Started Rapping At 6, I don’t care if your pops is in jail or what part of Las Vegas you’re from. I watched CSI and it seems like a goofy as all hell kind of place. If you so much as even think about purchasing redikulus.com, you will be in for a world of hurt, mon ami. No wait. What I meant was: perhaps we can come up with a business arrangement that will benefit both of us…

Dag, yo! Hodag!

The other and infinitely more compelling item of interest with which we share a name is Redikulus Dae, an annual street fair/shopping festival in Rhinelander, WI. Sweet crackers, there’s even a second annual Hodag Roaring Contest. I am so there. Back up a minute. Hodag, you say? Yes. Think of it as a Midwestern chupacabra. There’s not enough drugs in this city for me to make up shit like this. American folklore is truly fascinating and batshit crazy.

Anyway…as you were.

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February 8, 2009 at 10:50 PM Leave a comment

Start as you mean to go on

Sweet crackers it is cold out. My thermometer was reading 10 degrees in the shade when I left this morning, and by the time I got to the office, my face felt like it was a rubber mask stretched over some other face underneath. If you have ever wondered how horrifying it might feel to be so cold you can’t feel your penis, don’t. My nipples are permanently erect from the bars of surgical titanium penetrating the first few dermal layers. But if they weren’t made so by that, they would have been by my ride this morning. By that and this guy right here:

Q: What do you smell? A: Manflesh. So sayeth Lurtz.

So the big news in the world of sport, for me at least, is that this creamy specimen up top, that being not a model or some crazy naked weirdo but David Beckham, is headed back to Europe, at least temporarily, and is taking his kinda hot but fake-boobied Spice Wife with him. Which is great news, because his talent is totally wasted on American soccer and AC Milan seems like a splendid move. Not that the Rossoneri midfield is soft, but they are a bit defense-oriented and Beckham gives them a nice forward push. And after seeing him face Ronaldinho in several La Liga clasicos during their time with Real Madrid and Barcelona, I for one am excited to see what they might do on the same squad. There’s a lot of nationalistic pride in Serie A football, but is it really any surprise that the team that casts the widest talent net is sitting atop the table? Here’s hoping the LA Galaxy have the grace to let Beckham go for good.

What is going on? Sports on an art fag blog? Hear me out. I have a point, I think. I’m a man, I’m not above caring about sports, and I try to be a man of the people; Rome, after all, has always been a republic.

So, start as you mean to go on.

This is a phrase that doesn’t see much daylight in American English, which is unfortunate since its simplicity and elegance belie the scope of its implications. It sees a fair share of usage across the pond, as it were, but is relegated mostly to the lexicon of sport. A team that wins their season opener is said to have started as they mean to go on. Often this is said as a sarcastic inversion to imply that a poor beginning sets the stage for continued disappointment. English sportscasters routinely employ this phrase in their manifold exhibitions of linguistic superiority.

I’m quite serious. Tune into any English Premiership match and your ears will thank you. Soccer isn’t called “the beautiful game” simply for the action on the pitch. Never mind that the crowd sings rather than cheers. But the language used to give play-by-play to UK laymen is more eloquent than that of most American intellectuals and academics, the word choice and syntax whimsically inventive yet instantly understood. Consider: Martin Tyler, John Motson, Ray Hudson. These aren’t the most darling of examples, but just imagine them whispering sweet nothings in your ear and see if your legs don’t go soft.

Joe Buck can barely describe a passing route without speaking about the receiver in some sort of collective consciousness first/second/third person perspective and issuing forth a bevy of run-on sentences dripping in grammatical errors from the unfortunate, toothy hole in his face. I can’t for the life of me figure out why this amateur hour habit of assuming the first-person perspective of players is so universally embraced by American sportscasters, other than that they are mongoloid amateurs. Though he is perhaps the progenitor of practice, there will always be a place in my heart for John Madden, but his appeal is similar to that of Droopy or Rodney Dangerfield or that chubby girl you’d still fuck – there’s definitely a huge cute/pity factor. Perhaps once a fortnight, Madden will drop a gem of analysis so finely crystalized one might think he was huffing fumes from Big John Runyan‘s jock like some modern day Oracle of Delphi. But most of the time, he’s only marginally huggable because his blue collar celebration of the unsung heroes of run blocking and pass protection only partially masks his bumbling buffoonery. I mean, here’s a guy whose favorite phrase is “I mean, here’s a guy.” That and “boom.”

Speaking of boom, here’s a present for everyone but Pats fans.

Side note: ever wondered why sporting events are usually broadcast with two-man commentary teams instead of solo? Listening to one guy call the play is an awkward, lonely experience. Just as a color commentator can feed companionship through osmosis, a lone announcer exudes isolation that echoes your own as you spend another Sunday afternoon alone, growing older and fatter, watching sweaty men exchange ass pats. FOX Soccer Channel has this Italian guy who calls Serie A matches alone. He sounds like he learned to speak English from a Scotsman, so he has two accents, which is more annoying than you can imagine.

American sportscasters function splendidly as examples of successful mediocrity. These announcers are on TV to remind the young children watching that all is not lost if they fail to develop into professional athletes. They are salesmen pitching the virtues of living vicariously through sport. Perhaps this explains the continued use of altered perspective, but Ockham’s Razor would have me believe that they are simply mongoloid amateurs. To further sell this fantasy, networks hire washed up athletes to do the color commentary. When kids see Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in the FOX booth, they are invited to inquire who this shitgoose working with Troy is and ask “why not me because certainly I could be less of a sniveling shit,” and imagine that one day they might sit in a similar booth and don a headset with perhaps Michael Vick or Plaxico Burress and make pithy banter about prison.

The most glaring contrast between European and American sportscasters, even more so than their ability to use their mother tongue, is their temperament towards failure. Americans will, under most circumstances, fawn over players and teams as they try in earnest to find something good to say about their performance no matter how abysmal it may be. Europeans by comparison are notoriously hard to please and are stunningly critical of even winning teams and good players. What can account for this? Simply that there is no system for instituting collective responsibility in American leagues whereas in Europe there is.

In America, losing teams are rewarded with higher draft picks and thus the chance to radically improve their squad. In Europe, losing teams are kicked out of the league. Imagine, if you will, what blasphemy it would have been if after last year’s football season, the Philadelphia Soul entered the NFL and the Miami Dolphins were forced to play in the Arena league. A European system of promotion and relegation would do exactly that. On top of that, the better teams play in two or three leagues/cups at the same time, and many of their players also have to split time with national teams that are playing on several circuits at the same time. With this environment of heightened personal and collective responsibility for a team’s performance and reputation, it’s understandable why European fans and pundits have less tolerance for failure and mediocrity.

Hence the phrase “start as you mean to go on,” or in Americanese, “do it right the first time, bitch, don’t fuck it up.” It speaks to a certain work ethic that favors precision and deliberation over trial and error, a sentiment that, like preservative-free hippie food, doesn’t travel well over long distances, distances like Atlantic Oceans.

Americans, as both children and adults, are not taught to start as they mean to go on, but rather to start and then go on. Growing up American encourages us to make mistakes, reinvent ourselves and remain flexible in charting our path through life, and this is certainly admirable at a certain level. This cultural legacy has given us our resilience and agility, our aptitude for exploring life and finding what fits. But what we might gain in spirit we lose in ethic. We are conditioned to see success as an end rather than a means. We are encouraged to see mistakes as unlucky but forgettable events that build character, as no fault of our own, as opportunities for growth rather than the breeders of complacency they actually are.

So in examining the condition of our economy and our planet, we’re now seeing the accumulated fallout for our collective unwillingness to view current performance as a forecaster for future results. Our national will to take real action in addressing the challenges of today – climate change, energy, poverty and the declining middle class, healthcare, education – is pretty much the same as it’s always been: virtually non-existent. The American attitude toward problem solving is to hope things self-correct and put off taking immediate, decisive action until it’s far too late and such action takes more the form of haphazard damage control than prevention.

We can learn a thing or two from European sports. Like how to fix our broken country. Or how to cook a proper white center.

– posted by RussellMania3000

December 22, 2008 at 4:35 PM 1 comment

A Survival Guide for the Great Depression, Part Two

depression1

If you yourself haven’t yet lost your job, you have a 1 in 6 chance that you still could. The current unemployment rate is just 6.7 and during the Great Depression, it was 25% at it’s highest. Well, I have a low wage paying job in this time, so the money I don’t have, I wouldn’t spend anyway, because I don’t have it. If you’re like me, you are looking for the next wave in entrepreneurial motivation, a new way to make money during these hard times. I’ve looked at the first Depression for some ways to make money during these hard times:

Shantytowns. Oh yes, America’s next wave in suburbanism. You could either start your own contractor business, to construct shanties from various materials like crates, boxes, cardboard, metal scraps and whatever else your friendly urban landfill has to offer. If you don’t like that idea, say you’ve got baby’s hands, perhaps you could have someone build you a lovely Shanty town of your own and have a fancy name like “Holly Forest”. Then, with all the people forced to leave their foreclosed homes, you could offer them a new residential development, located right in the center of town. Your chicken wire fence allows for a safe-guarded community where only residents are allowed access. (You’ve hooked a car battery to the fence, security system armed!)

You could also start your own box car gang. Yes, our favorite youth novel characters, the Box Car Children, are based off depression youths who rode train lines from town to town in order to find work. No, not crust punks. You may want to sharpen your knives and brush up on basic knife fighting skills, as hobos have staked claim on most rail lines. They also probably already are missing most of their teeth, and have no fear in derailing you. A bookstore clerk informed me that the Box Car Children are still a popular series for youngsters, I recommend starting a youth army before getting involved. As we all know, children are the scariest humans alive.

If you have a little money put aside, you could start a clinic or begin a birth control pharmacy. Everyone knows babies are expensive and will not want to have any. More so than the babies they aren’t already having. And I’m not talking about this either.

You could just go out and make a blog, then walk around with a classified ad on your person.. like this guy.

-posted by samsquared

December 11, 2008 at 10:44 PM Leave a comment


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