Friends, Enemies, and Internet Losers: I have returned.

Posts tagged “evil

The History of the Hipster

The common mosquito, in its current form, is over 95 million years old. Despite its many eons of bothering the hell out of others and the sad truth that it probably isn’t going to go away any time soon, we still feel the need to complain about it, them. This is not hard to believe of course; they are annoying as hell and generally don’t provide a whole lot in return. Some would argue the same could be said of hipsters. I’m deciding. Granted they haven’t been around for 95 million years. Contemporary hipsters can be traced back a decade or so. But, as I will explain, there have always been hipsters, the parasitic culture gentrifier.

A Time article, written almost a year ago to the day, outlines the modern hipster. Dan Fletcher describes them as “smug, full of contradictions and, ultimately, the dead end of Western civilization.” This may be a bit harsh, but it’s not the first time it has been said.

Herb Caen, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, coined the term “beatnik” in 1958. Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were not amused. If you read the Beat writers’ work, you’d know they almost always had jobs and worked very hard to play very hard. Kerouac was admitted to Columbia on a football scholarship, a strange crossover for the King of the Beats. They did not create a scene, but drew attention to it. This is the invitation, the opening of the door that beckons to all the hipsters. In a letter to the New York Times Ginsberg wrote, “if the beatniks and not the illuminated Beat poets overrun this country, they will have been created not by Kerouac but by industries of mass communication which continue to brainwash men.” When Ginsberg wrote of “Angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,” I suspect he was referring to those who came before, those who were the scene, not the ones who made it. Even the French Revolution was going along swimmingly until Maximillien Robespierre hijacked the Committee for Public Safety and kind of ruined it for everyone. Hipsters have existed everywhere.

The term “hip” is from the jazz clubs of the 30s and 40s. Before that, the etymology becomes a little hazy. Suffice it to say, to be “hip” meant that you were in the know. To be “in the know” now is not very difficult, especially in the digital age, when music and image are swapped like so many hockey cards. I think what angers a lot of people is that the hipster culture isn’t a culture; it’s a flea market where culture is bought and sold. Fletcher writes, “…instead of creating a culture of their own, hipsters proved content to borrow from trends long past.” Indeed. I once had a 15 year old kid tell me that I was responsible for Kurt Cobain’s death because I “didn’t appreciate him.” I didn’t have a calendar on hand, but simple math revealed that he would have been two years old when we killed Cobain and not even an egg-seeking sperm when “Bleach” was released. That’s probably why I don’t remember seeing him at a show.

You would never go to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. dressed as a veteran if you were born in 1987. The Black Label Society had to cancel a show in Manchester because of threats of violence from a local motorcycle club. The club argued that BLS’s use of “rockers” on their jackets was an insult to any 1%er who’d actually earned them.

So is there anything actually wrong with a parasitic subculture intent on the lifelong search for cool? If there is, I blame Henry V. His Saint Crispin’s day speech called out all the “gentlemen in England now abed” and called their “manhoods cheap.” Essentially, if you’re not at the party, if you’re not hip, you suck and should think yourself “accursed.” Maybe that’s a bit of stretch. We are a society of consumers, of course, but cultures are supposed to produce as well. The true danger of a parasitic culture is not what it feeds on but how it feeds.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a sentiment first expressed in the 3rd century BC by some Greek guy, then it doesn’t actually exist except in the abstract. We must see it for it to exist. This would also imply we should look for it. But if our search only extends as far as what someone else has told us is beautiful, the buck stops at the “industries of mass communication” Ginsberg railed against.

Candace Pert was responsible for discovering the opiate receptor in the human brain. In a 1981 interview with OMNI she stated, “Heroin bludgeons the opiate receptors into submission, functionally shrinking them.” In other words, if we keep outsourcing our opiates (she also stated that most drugs have less potent, natural analogs within the human body) our bodies can lose the ability to use our own; if we never leave the house, we become dependent on the deliveryman. This is the danger of the cool-seeker who doesn’t actually look. Hunter S. Thompson takes a similar stab at Leary’s Acid Culture in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, calling them “a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture.”

I too am a cool seeker. I too am a hipster in some aspects. But I want to believe that I replace that which I mine from the depths of culture in equal measures. I write about culture and society not to hand down truth from on high but to inspire you to take up the search as well. As Shakespeare wrote in Love’s Labour’s Lost, “Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye, / Not utter’d by base sale of chapmen’s tongues.”

So we continue to swat at the hipsters buzzing around us. They’re not going anywhere though so get used to them. As for yourself, art can be art for art’s sake but cool shouldn’t be cool for its own sake. Cool is the blind faith of the unoriginal. At least that’s what I heard.


keeping positive.

The only thing worse than being sick is being dead – that and “Jersey Shore.” In an effort to keep my spirits high, I have decided to look at the upside and write about all the good things that come about as a result of the world famous, head cold. So, here is the silver lining that is slowly dripping out of my sinus cavity:

A) People don’t know what a sap you are: Because your eyes are watering so much, they can’t tell if you have a cold or if you just watched the episode of “Highway to Heaven” where the little girl with leukemia gets to swim with the dolphins after replacing her prosthetic legs that were lost in the horrible school bus crash caused by her family swerving off the road to miss Terry Fox running  with a box of puppies.

B) Drugs: Nobody wants you to go to work and make them sick too so you get to sit at home watching the walls melt.

C) Better seats on the bus: These days one sneeze/snort combo and you’re riding in style with a whole section to yourself until another sick person gets on and your section kind of turns into a leper colony.

D) Lots of hot showers with no guilt: It was Mother Nature and her germs that did this to you so the bitch can suffer with you for a day.

E) Soup: Soup is awesome. Let’s all just admit this and move on.

F) Oprah: She’ll be gone soon. You better try to get in some “me” time while you can. See “A” above.

G) You have at least one day of bossing your roommates around: They’ll put up with you for one day because they want the same treatment when they get sick and one look at you and they know they will.

H) Cherry Halls: “Dissolve one tablet slowly in the mouth as required.” *Crunch* Next…

I) Pajamas: I have long been a supporter of the notion that one not get dressed should they not need to. Pajamas are the shit, even you have to have several pairs on call with all the joyous night sweating that goes on.

J) The Fever: Suckers all over the world shell out good cash for designer drugs to feel the way you do the night you have the fever. Fever dreams are so intense that being sick is almost worth it for that exact reason. Bon Voyage!

Really? (This post is NSFW)

I am seriously considering starting a new category called, “Only A University Student Could Be This Stupid.” A while back I blogged about an interview about tolerance I heard on CBC Radio. In this interview, a professor told of how he was shocked by a student saying that she would not lift a finger to stop the Nazis if she were a time traveller, not because of the “Butterfly Effect”, but because it wasn’t her place to comment on how other people (in this case the Nazis) ran their societies. She was “tolerant.” I remember very clearly when the professor said, “Only a university student would think that way.” Yesterday, I was commenting on a friend’s Facebook page. She had made a comment about Olympic protestors and then caught it from all sides, big surprise there. Her older sister and a friend were being particularly patronizing.

SISTER: I think you need to read a bit more before you can make any accusations. Maybe develop your understanding of “violence” instead of relying on what you saw or heard on CTV.

I couldn’t resist responding to that; so I did. I repsonded that I read a lot too and that I thought the protest was violent and that I had never actually seen any of CTV’s coverage. What I had seen were photographs by local photogs.

SISTER: “[R]ead a bit more” was directed at the term “violence,” looking at the difference between damage to property and an act against a human being…. Anarchist theory is about consensus. Yes we can question the actions of the black bloc, but at the end of the day it was only windows and now it’s time to move on.

I guess she didn’t actually mean “Read” but “Read stuff that will make you agree with me.” I pointed out that the Black Bloc assaulted journalists and police officers in the course of carrying out their duty. Were they property? This is a point no one cared to comment on after if was made. As for consenus, I asked if this was anything like democratic voting or the public agreeing that police officers should try and stop people who are breaking the law. What followed was classic.

SISTER’S FRIEND: Re: free speech, I guess you missed JS Mill. The movement does not pretend to totalize and reconcile the tactics of the movement. It certainly doesn’t consider pandering to the mainstream media to be tactically advantageous. It’s only defense against corporate media is the independent journalism of the movement, which is something, I’m sure, that any activist who knows the motives of canwest et al would read.

If the movement were considering efficient causes, it would vote for the NDP. But it is not, as I read it, interested in upholding the organism of law which it accurately perceives as a defense of the rich. It’s not just the parties that are inadequate, but government. This critique is not invalid if it is articulated as a problem. its exegesis is simply impossible here.

What movement doesn’t support an “efficient cause”? The “organism of law”? You mean a society with Law and Order? I could smell first year university on this idiot. Especially this: “Re: free speech, I guess you missed JS Mill.” Heh…

While John Stuart Mill did have a lot to say on the subject of free speech, as most philosophers do, he also had a little philosophy called Utilitarianism, the “greatest-happiness priciple.” Basically, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Whoops. By quoting John Stuart Mill as an expert supporting his point he also opened the door for me to comment that J.S. Mill’s philosophy of Utilitarianism basically means “DTES suck it up; the majority of us are doing just fine at your expense.” In order words, he blew his own point.

I was dying to know who this moron was so I took a glance at his Facebook page. Turns out he’s a fan of Sasha Grey. J.S. Mill was also a supporter of the rights of women so I asked my new friend this: How does a teenage girl being gangbanged and humiliated by 8 men her father’s age then being ejaculated on by same represent the rights of women or freedom from the exploitation of corporate media?

He accused me of making an ad hominen, which I most certainly had after making my comments. I’d suggested he drop the “pseudo-academic buzzwords” by the time he reached fourth year or his profs would eat him alive. He didn’t answer my question. So I wrote this: I just knew you would say [it was an ad hominem]… How about begging the question, answering everything but the question put before you?
Let’s try this again: How does a teenage girl being gangbanged and humiliated by 8 men her father’s age then being ejaculated on by same represent the rights of women or freedom from the exploitation of corporate media?
~or~ Why would you quote a source that actually harmed your argument unless you were ignorant of his full body of work?

He answered, but then quickly deleted his answer. How do I know this? Because it’s Facebook and a flea can’t fart in Madagascar without 10,000 notifications being sent. When I got to the “chat”, the sister was back and speaking in his stead.

SISTER: [O]ne more thing then let’s end this because I think after Baron’s last comment the argument has gone fucking nowhere. I’m also a fan of Sasha Grey, in fact I was before P. The reason why we are fans is because she’s probably the most articulate and critically minded porn star out there, making her pretty fucking fan worthy to me. Baron you should not reduce her to her image.

Now I would argue that the argument was going “fucking nowhere” because he refused to answer my questions but “The most articulate and critically minded porn star”? Really?

It is not me you need to worry about as far as reducing her to “her image.” Let’s look at that “image”, shall we?


Now, of the 7 men in this room and more specifically the three fucking her, slapping her, and flipping her around like a meaty blow-up doll, how many are thinking about her “articulate and critical” mind? How many men watching this are? How many young women who may see Grey on Oprah being all coy and “smart” and talking about “freedom” and all the money she makes are? Interestingly enough, the file above is “image15”.

Ask Jennie Ketcham about the glamourous life of a porn star.

Sasha Grey may be “articulate” but her image is what everyone sees. The sister would have us believe that taking your child to see a man juggle chainsaws without explaining the danger is okay. People with their noses buried in theory with little or no practical experience to back it up can be very dangerous. Only a university student could be this stupid.

a-to the-men

“i think the mouth is the most annoying part of the human body.

straight up.”

Lions and tigers and loudmouth bears! Oh my!

You can always tell how jaded you’ve become by looking at what makes you laugh. I watched The Wizard of Oz last night and discovered that I am pretty jaded.

It all started when I was wondering what a weird old man travelling in a covered cart would really say to a young girl running away from home. It continued as the Wicked Witch of the East appears for the first time and I’m waiting for a helicopter gunship to strafe the Munchkin Village because someone has “popped red smoke.”

The Cowardly Lion may be picking on Toto but he also takes a run at the Tin Man, a not-so-cowardly move considering that the Tin Man has an ax and body armour.

The poppies that make you sleep and the snow that wakes you up are no surprise to any adult who’s seen even one episode of Miami Vice.

It is hardly a surprise that so many people took advantage of Judy later on in life if she can believe that three co-dependent misfits she’s known for less than half an hour are “the best friends a person could ever have.”

The worst giggle I had during its 101 minutes was when I discovered, totally by accidental bathroom break, that when you pause the movie at the exact moment the water hits the witch in the face, it looks like… well, mevermind.

I still love The Wizard of Oz. I think the flying monkeys are the shit and was amazed while I was watching how the backdrops on the sepia-toned farm shots looked more realistic than any CGI I’ve seen 70 years later. It is indeed the classic of classics. Hope I didn’t ruin it too much. Maybe sometime I’ll tell you about how I spent most of Casablanca remarking about what a fickle whore Ilsa Lund is.


Someone Has to Stand Up for This

I remember the first time I ever saw laser beams shoot from my dad’s eyes. It had something to do with admission, either a movie or the PNE or the like. He paid for my older sister and then looking down at me said, “He’s only seven.”

I hadn’t grown up for so long to be cheated of it in front of a stranger!

“Nah, Dad! I’m EIGHT!” was the proclaimation. Cue laser beams. Either my father didn’t know how old I was (punishable by spouses and highly unlikely) or he was trying to screw $5 out of wherever it was we were trying to get into (punishable by law and extremely likely).

So my dad lied to one zit-faced ticket taker over wanting to save $5? No one called the Air Force. Paramedics, police, and fire departments weren’t mobilized. No one shut down Vancouver International Airport. He was trying to sucker one person until my bout with honesty stymied him. A lie is a lie but I think Balloon Boy’s pop has my dad hands down on this one.

Richard Heene wanted a reality show.

After all the mess that these shows have created, no one in their right mind would want one; therefore, it must be someone else’s fault. To this end, I have compiled a list of likely suspects.

John Langley – creator and producer of “COPS.”

On March 11, 1989 (six years minus a day after Buckwheat was killed on live TV by publicity hunter, John David Stutts), “COPS” hit the air. It was decided that people who are drunk, high, and/or stupid we’re much better at acting drunk, high, and/or stupid than actors were and you didn’t need a script or actors. Imagine how much it would cost a producer in today’s market to pay Lindsay Lohan and Brittney Spears to do the stuff they did for free outside nightclubs.

Kato and Ken and the Tokyo Broadcasting System

In the mid-80s, the Tokyo Broadcasting System had a hit with “Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan.” This show included a segment which asked for Japanese families to send in funny home videos. American producer, Vin Di Bona, saw it and liked it and WHAMMO… America’s Funniest Home Videos. Some of the more adept of you may have wondered why, during the first couple seasons, an inordinate amount of American families sending in their home videos appeared to Japanese.

It should be noted that both these series were developed during the Writers Guild[s] of America (East and West) strike which lasted between March 7 and August 7, 1988. It was the longest strike on record and producers were getting nervous.

Allen Funt – creator of “Candid Microphone” then “Candid Camera.”

At 7:30pm on June 28, 1947, “Candid Microphone” hit the airwaves via ABC Radio. August 10, 1948, “Candid Camera” hits TV for the first time and the rest is, as they say, history.

It should also be noted that I’m not sure Funt can be blamed here. Firstly, both of his shows had writers (Woody Allen was one) so they effectively weren’t Reality TV. Secondly, people didn’t know they were on TV so they couldn’t ham it up for the cameras.

In 1997, the UK production company, Planet 24, produced a show called, “Expedition Robinson” for Swedish TV. The show featured a group of “castaways” being marooned and then voting each other off one at a time. Mark Burnett paid for the idea and in May, 2000, “Survivor: Borneo” hit the air.

Finally, I blame Nancy Grace. She just can’t help herself. She gives the John David Stutz treatment to everyone and can’t figure out why people with no discernable talent or prospects want to be on TV so bad. As for Nancy, she’s had her hand slapped twice by the Supreme Court of Georgia for Prosecutorial Misconduct and once by the panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for the same thing.

She claims it was the murder of her college fiancee that led her to law school and victim advocacy. She makes these claims in the book [she had the nerve to title], Objection! – How High-Priced Defense Attorneys, Celebrity Defendants, and 24/7 Media Have Hijacked Our Legal System (emphasis mine). A reporter from the New York Observer compared her telling of the story to the police reports and found that her version was wrong on several points, points that seemed to pad her credentials as victim advocate: the murder wasn’t random, the killer did confess the night of the murder, and the killer did not appeal the conviction. Also, according the other New York newspapers, entire sections of her book are plagiarized, word for word, from a New York Times article by Sabra Chartrand. My favourite Nancy Grace fun-fact is that she has two kids with her husband David Linch (not the director) and, therefore, actually has a “Linch mob.”

Okay, so the spelling of “lynch” is wrong, but all things considered, I’m allowed one cheap shot.

Is Richard Heene a bad parent? I am going with “Yes” on this one. In the end, I guess he did get his reality show. He just never got paid for it and might lose his family before any episode is even shot. And THAT, is why he is such a lousy parent: he wagered the well being of his family for fame and lost them all.


The New Face of Evil

Nietzsche warned us not to stare too long into the abyss otherwise the abyss may begin to stare back into us. I have spent a lot of time staring into the abyss, a contest of sorts. I can tell you this: evil has a new name and face. The name? Bernie (well, sort of). The face? Scroll down the right hand side of the blog and you will find a picture of a grinning, blonde maniac with a chainsaw.

Her blog, Coffee and Zombie Movies, is the worst kind of anti-social blatherings. Her entries are about such depraved topics as defrauding Starbucks and how to sexually abuse a turkey before cooking it.

This unemployable monster spends her days blogging when she should be looking after her 10000 children and various pets, both real and imagined.

I also happen to know she has hoarded food stores for when she and her armies of darkness and hilarity make their final push against the armies of good taste and diligent haircuts. She even moved from the frozen wastelands of northern Northern Alberta to Ottawa, our nation’s capital, just so she could bring her chilled heart to bear on the seat of power in this land (If she didn’t live in Ottawa, I wouldn’t write this. It is only since her departure from Alberta that I have ceased to feel her presence in Western Canada. But with that being said, I write this entry under a table, barricaded in my basement).

So, if you need to see for yourself the evil that is on the rise in the east of our great land, check out Coffee and Zombie Movies. But if you find yourself barricaded under a table, eating booze-soaked preserves, and facing an army of pissed off baristas, don’t say I didn’t try to warn you!