Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mika Brzezinski of MNSBC rips Paris report

Thank you jeebus. Finally someone on a major news network with enough integrity to stop the madness. Look, I know it's all about the bottom line, but opting to put Paris on the top of the headlines for sashaying (sp?) out of jail just speaks to a massive mix-up in priorities. What next? "Thousands Dies In MudSlide. Says Hotel Heiress: That's Not Hot. Her Story Pg.2".
Now, whether or not this lady will be raked over the coals by the powers above her is another thing altogether and the cynic in me says she'll have to make an apology or something very soon.
In the meantime - you get my 'Matt's Favorite Lady Who I Never Heard of Before Award'. Be honored, it's not like I just make these things up.

P.S Did you notice I managed to get the video and blog in the SAME POST? I'm evolving people. Please send your sponsorships asap.

P.S.S: Thanks to Phil for putting me on to this video.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Digital Line

Poppa Bradford and I have this re-occuring debate on censorship. His point is that we can't impose censorship on some things and not others. It just doesn't work. Doing so, says wise ole pops, allows for personal biases, politics, religion and trends to enter the equation. That is, how does one judge what can or cannot be consumed by our culture and how did they get to be the one to decide?

All in all, his answer is simple; no censorship.

And, hell, that scares me.
I can't put my finger on what it is exactly, but I'm holding out for a middle ground that appeals to free speech and the need to keep society at least somewhat accountable for its goings on.
Take the recent ban on Manhunt 2 for instance (you had to know this was leading back to videogames).
In a nutshell, Britain has altogether banned the game from distribution on the grounds of it's graphic portrayal of murder. In the game (as far as I can tell, as I've only played the first and the second is now mired in controversy), you play a man who is rewarded for each of his human kills. The bloodier and more depraved, the better.
In the Wii version, one would (as of press time) use the controller to mimic stabbings and throat cuttings. Nice huh?

Obviously, the reactionary video game crowd is all in a frenzy over this 'absurd attack on free speech' and I can somewhat see their point. 'Torture-porn' is the newest craze at the box office and there are television shows depicting the exact same thing.

Herein the issue becomes the degree of influence. In this case, the medium calls on the player to assume the role of murderer and, in turn, work towards a goal of murdering human beings in order to progress.

So, ok, dirty stuff--but nothing that hasn't been done before...right? Maybe. With graphics nearing picture perfect quality, the argument can be made that Manhunt 2 is the most 'real' portrayal of murder. This is bloody, gritty and each face and cut wound has been rendered in beautiful 1080p.

Then there's this....where is the line? If gamers are arguing for free speech and the right to perform whatever acts a developer can dream up, at what point do our moral compasses point to censorship? Will the same videogame martyrs defend a game that allows one to become a pedophile? What about a child muderer? Because, hey, it's just a videogame...right?'s a question of how far we're willing to fly the free speech banner. Personally, I'd like think that everyone could handle a totally non-censored culture, but there are depraved sickos out there and we are influenced by media so there has to be a degree of social responsibility for the acts in which we participate.

Eventually, one game would come along that would test our patience, and I fear that if Manhunt 2 isn't that game, that we can all expect something much much worse to truly test where we stand.
Now, maybe the states have got it right by imposing an 'Adults Only' ban on the game. Then again, what defines an adult? Age? If so, then we disregard the fact that some adults are about as immature and ill-equipped as twelve year olds.
It's a muddy muddy situation. And before we go fighting for the right to murder, I think we have to put our own soapboxes aside and look at this not as 'The Man against Videogames' but 'Where We'll Draw the Line' - because if you ask me...if we aren't drawing the line here, where will it be drawn?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Oh! And One More

Got some good viewing suggestions in response to the blog - including one from Steve 'I Pee Myself To Compensate For Townhouse Heat' Howard (long story).
That is - Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares
Actually, he said 'Hell's Kitchen', but the one I wanted to mention was this gem of a reality show that basically sheds the whole 'competition' aspect and just goes for straight cursing and beligerance.
Now, imagine if you will, watching a show about an angry drunk hobo who goes into restaurants and proceeds to verbally sodomize everyone in the kitchen. Now, imagine that this drunk hobo is actually a world famous chef who might actually have some good points and that's the basic premise.
A standard scene involves our good chef waxing poetic about the state of a restaurant and then cutting to him cursing like a drunk uncle in the back. i.e

Exterior: The Bradford Bed and Breakfast.
Ramsey (V.O): This quaint homage to old school simplicities benefits from a nice location. I really don't see a problem there...its inside the kitchen where the true modern horrors await me...
RAMSEY and the HEAD CHEF discuss strategy
Ramsey: You stupid talentless f*ing whore. I've tasted hairy cock sacks that have more taste than this f*ing shite. You deserve to f*ing die you piece of lard ass scab cocker.

Yeah. It's hella fun to watch and I suggest you do as well. Thanks to Steve for reminding me. Also, to donate to Steve's cause, please visit

(UPDATE!!: Sweet mother of god do not click that link. What started as a joke has caused me a sleepless night)

Friday, June 15, 2007

TV To Waste Summer By

Since all I seem to do lately is bitch and moan about celebrities and Hip-Hop, I thought I'd return to my roots and talk a little 'tube (That's TV for hip kids).

Now that most shows have finished up for a season, there's a tendancy to get outside and enjoy the fresh open air...sure....if you're a nerd.
True lazy bastards know that Summer is the penultimate time to catch up on the TV you missed or never bothered watch.
And if I may suggest...
HBO's answer to derivitate crime dramas. Each season focuses one case and follows it through from the little threads to full out raids. As a plus, half of the Wire focuses on the 'other half' aka the gang bangers and urban drug czars who are in the ole cat and mouse game with a rag tag team of drug enforcers.
It takes a while to clue in to the all the lingo and police politics, but those who follow through the entire 12 episode arc, will feel satisfied with the journey. One of those 'oh shit, the episodes over? Well I guess I have time to watch the next one' shows. (tm).

Sadly, Veronica Mars has officially been cancelled - thankfully not before finishing out their third season. I'll have to let you know if its a good wrap-up as I've yet to see/download it, but from what I can tell you, this is simply one of the most fun shows to watch. Mayhaps I've written about this before, but I repeat - if you like smart, funny and dark, this is the show to beat. Of course, like every show that doesn't cater to poop and sex jokes, this didn't get the following it needed or deserved. Rather, it developed a nice base of rabid fans who are now sending Mars Bars to TV execs in a Jericho-ish effort to revive the season. And for good cause. Each season follows a Buffy-like Veronica Mars and her P.I Father through one giant mystery cut up with a host of equally enjoyed and original storylines. Written with a pop-culture flare and definitely for those who dig serials, Veronica Mars is smart TV fun.

Hands down one of the funniest comedies to be axed from the FOX Network in favor of shitty shitty realty programming. Loaded with self-references, inside jokes, sarcasm and downright odd brilliance, Arrested Development follws the downfall of the affluent Bluth family and the subsequent bedlam that ensues...or something. Either way, you have to really watch each episode about 10 times to get every single joke, sight gag and deeply embedded reference. Think the absurd coincidental storytelling of Seinfeld with some of the strangest but funniest writing you've seen. Oh, did I mention I'm a fan? Favorite character: GOB. You'll see.


Granted, I'm just barely 7 episodes into the first season, but there's something special about this drama about two 'friends' who run a plastic surgery ... uh, store? What's great about Nip Tuck is that just when it seems to be cliche, it surprises you with great character twists and shocking directions. You'll have to get used to watching some fairly brutal surgery, but you'll also be treated to supermodel-breasts...which are in turn ruined by the fact that you saw them being put in...therefore the point of the show I suspect. Either way, I hasten to call Nip Tuck 'fun', but it's definitely one of those shows that stays with you long after you even want it to.

The War At Home

Not since Married With Children has the middle class life been so expertly-
Ah, just kidding, this show sucks magnificent balls. Please do not watch.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Free Paris! Free Paris

Somehow I'm opposed to everything Nancy Grace has to say. It's like her shrill holier-than-thou voice broadcasts some weird signal which scrambles my logic centres and just generally puts me in polar opposition from anything she rallies against.
She could have a show devoted to saving the whales and that night I'd be chowing down on flipper.
Yeah, it's that bad.
So when she began her crusade against Paris Hilton, I couldn't help but take the opposite view.
That is - is this really justice?
I mean...let's set aside our natural prejudice for famous people who have no right to be famous and let's look at this from a human point of view. In the beginning, I wanted her to hang. I wanted her to not only serve the full 43 days, but I wanted full updates on how much she is suffering...and I don't think I'm alone.
But is this natural? Is the desire to see people suffer justified....ever? Granted, driving drunk is about the stupidest thing anyone can do and she deserves her kummupins of some sort, but punishing her doubly for the ineptitude of one sheriff seems a little out of place.
I mean, she was let out of jail, what was she supposed to do? What would anyone do?
"Sorry, I believe I am being wrongfully released, please keep me here?"
No. That's ludicrous. She got a break - yeah, but how the hell is it her fault that she was released early? This was a foul up on the prison end, not hers, but we're a bloodthirsty bunch and we just have to beat her back into submission at the slightest sign that our mob justice wasn't satisfied.
Look - I'm no Paris fan. In fact, I was waiting for something like this to knock her down a peg. That said, it's already been noted that 2 to 3 days is a normal sentance for her offense and I'm afraid this swift punishment to her early release is more of a political move than a fair one.
We love when celebrities screw up, and we always cry bloody murder when they get away with it. All I'm saying is that we should be careful not to shift our vision of justice the entire opposite way just because we love seeing talentless pointless celebrities burn. We're better than that...right?
I say let her serve 20 days, let her have her breakdown and when she gets released, instead of following her every move waiting for her to screw up again, let's just ignore her. Maybe that's true celebrity justice.
As for Nancy Grace, well, I'll just have to learn to not care.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Rihanna - Umbrella

Post 80 (Feat. Rant)

(Note: The Above Video should have been in this post, but I've given up on trying to figure out how to do so. Anyone?)

Admittidly, I'm not the biggest hip-hop/R&B/gansta life music fan. In fact, after watching a direct music video feed at a club in Vancouver last week I was ready to rant about downright lazy the whole damn genre had become. I mean, take away the music (which is what happens in a noisy club) and all you see for 30 odd minutes is a parade of 'rough street smart' guys mugging for a camera in the middle of a street while underdressed 18 year old street walkers cleaned his car(s). Oh, and don't forget the rainfalls of money (which, for all of Alberta's shitty weather patterns I have yet to see).

Anyways - long story short, the genre wasn't impressing me. And it wasn't just the videos, it was the songs...the same damn sentiment time and time again "It was rough, I'm rough, now I'm screwing supermodels and selling million dollar albums. Also - I can't eat much because I have coated my teeth in metal".

BUT THE REAL point of this post is because I actually started to like a few artists here and there...mainly female artists who brought at least something resembling structure, harmony and thought to the music.S o imagine my suprise when I download this Rihanna song only to be treated to this right off the top (edit: see Above)

I'm sorry...did I download a podcast? Was the song that hard to understand thematically that Jay-Z had to come out and explain it to me?

Then I realized this is one of the reasons why I've avoided hip-hop: because of self-promoting nonsense like this. How many times have I had a reasonably fun/good Hip Hop song interrupted by the producer or some remotely famous artist doing his own interpretation right in the middle of the damn song?

It's like they record these guys singing in the shower to the song and then mix together both tracks for one crazy cool final product. No! You don't see Ozzy Osborne suddenly appearing in a Rob Zombie video yelling 'Sharon! Sharon!' - why? Because Rob Zombie can stand by himself - just like Rihanna can do her own shit without having to be molded once more into 'Rap Female Bot 3000' while her master parades around her.

And its not just my limited Hip Hop history knowledge, I can recall a good number of songs which were great by themselves but just had to feature 'So and So' to validate being in the industry. Stop it. Let the woman sing, damnit! Save the macho parading for your own stuff and let the genre evolve! It's like watching some drunk uncle show up to his niece's battle of the bands and take over the stage.

So that's that. I propose a band on the word 'Feat.' in a music title. If you are too lazy to do your own stuff, don't shoehorn yourself into another artist's stuff just because you happen to a) think everyone was just dying to find out where you'd pop up next b) were in the studio that day or c) you think that doing any work on the album automatically buys you a free ticket to talk over the main tracks.

Thanks - Matt (Feat. Dirty Bizzle B)