As everyone already knows, Andy Rooney will no longer be the dessert of the 60 Minutes pot luck. The dude is 92. It was clearly time. But why all the internet hate?
Gawker shit all over him yesterday. Social network murmuring has been mostly bratty; one friend posted a link about his departure accompanied by one word: “finally.”
I know the guy’s schtick has been a bit stale since around 1992, but stale schtick doesn’t mean bad schtick; just ask Larry David. C’mon, people! This is Andy Rooney! An American original! Andy Rooney, intrepid jalopy sleuth! Andy Rooney, nerd hater! All jokes aside, he’s been around forever, he defined a niche and filled it well, and he diverted attention to poor grooming away from billions of men around the world with those glorious eyebrows. The guy doesn’t need to be revered, but he needs to be respected.
Full disclosure: right before posting this, I found a Salon article reflecting a similar sentiment. I point this out not to cover my ass, but because it’s a good piece that’s better written than your garden-variety blog rant (*cough*).
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, un-commercialized music is disappearing from YouTube, being replaced and sequestered by companies like Vevo, who monetize the original material by adding static, animated, and pre-roll ads to the experience. For online schizophrenics who make a sport out of flitting around the internet, this is an unfortunate development.
I recognize that artists and the teetering machines that support them should be fairly compensated for the use of their property. But I contend that YouTube should remain a commercial-free zone, or should at least do away with pre-roll ads. This is not based on some half-baked Adbusters ethos. It’s based on a belief that unobstructed access to music on YouTube actually encourages paid consumption. To wit: the other day I was thinking about a Cars song that I had not heard in a while, so I reflexively went to YouTube. As “Bye Bye Love” poured sweetly into my ears, I began thinking about The Cars, and then how well their music still holds up, and then how chock-full-o-hits that first album is. Then I realized I have never owned a Cars album. Do you know what I did next, y’all? I went to Amazon and bought The Cars. Instant YouTube access directly resulted in legitimate purchase. The system worked. On the contrary, if I had been hit with a Vevo video and forced to sit through a 30 second ad before hearing Benjamin Orr croon “You call yourself intense?”, I probably would have bailed on the whole Cars tranche and watched the Larry Merchant video again.
So there you have it, friends. A sound argument for unimpeded music sharing, or another libtard looking for a handout? You decide. In the meantime, listen to this non-Vevo, late-70’s gem by The Cars, and dream about all the little bits of amazingness that the first weekend of fall holds in store.
A current Citibank commercial depicts a guy and his Benetton friends using points to create and launch a camera-equipped weather balloon. Assumed selling proposition:
Citi supports your creative, barometric dreams. Weak, but harmless enough.
Unfortunately—and somewhat unsurprisingly because marketers are too often at ease with being scummy and unoriginal—the concept for the spot was surely ripped from a real event…a touching, non-commercial event shared between father and son that happened last year.
Original Project, 2010
Citbank hack job, 2011
Feel free to visit your neighborhood Citibank branch and demand answers.
Coming off the heels of their vaunted July 4th can—for which an exhaustive video review can be found here—the bros at InBev have unveiled a full redesign of the classic Budweiser brewskie. As a long-time devotee of Bud Heavy, I find the change a bit off-putting and already miss the classic can, which had a stately timelessness that no Fauxhemian graphic designer need muck with. As someone who makes a living spouting off marketing ideas, however, I’ll admit that the new design is pretty nice. Kudos, Fauxhemian.
10 years ago yesterday, The Strokes released Is This It.
I’m not going to pontificate on the merits of the record, the talent of the band, or the plight of their career. For me personally, it was a seminal moment: It was my first “New York” record, having moved to the city mere months earlier. It was the first new music I ever downloaded on Napster (the UK version that had “New York City Cops” on it…talk about bad timing). Each song instantly rockets me back to my first job fielding calls from Cat Fancy magazine as a lowly Ad Exec. The shitty part? All of these memories make it official: I am an old.
In closing, here’s an incredible performance of “Take it or Leave it” on Letterman from the early days. Now excuse me while I lament my life choices.
This “site” (or blog, property, premier destination…whatever you wish to call it) certainly falls on the insular side of the spectrum. USA Today we aint. So please forgive us as we split yet another meta-pube with our celebration of new microdocumentary People’s Champion: Behind the Battle. If you are not familiar and enthusiastic about Eli Porter, the original video, the subsequent remixes, and the rich history of star wipes, please stop reading now and explore some of the (slightly) more approachable content that’s strewn throughout this premier destination.
After watching the piece, one thing struck me: it couldn’t be more emblematic of where we are as a society in 2011. This should be put in a time capsule and exhumed 200 years from now, so that social science can learn and debate about The Way Things Were in the early 21st century. Four other quick thoughts:
1. It’s truly amazing that a team of people had the time, the wherewithal, and the gumption to make a high-quality, immaculately edited, THIRTY MINUTE documentary about a fleeting internet meme.
2. The opening three minutes casts light on Millennials at their worst: there are enough faux titles and obscure URLs to make even the most insufferable Harvard Business School grad blush.
3. Poor Envy. The guy has one regrettable performance in a high school talent showcase, and eight years later a menagerie of people—including a doughy emo, old classmates, and even the freaking AV Teacher—are clowning his decision to rhyme “cripple” with “cripple.” An unforgiving era, indeed.
4. “Iron Mic” is a dope-ass name for a freestyle competition.
Last week, we briefly discussed planking, a meme-tastic phenomenon that was largely sequestered to those weirdo vagrant islands down under. This week, the trend of morons being idiots has seeped into our lives a bit more than I am comfortable with. I have Facebook friends—mid-thirties Facebook friends—giddily posting pics of themselves planking. Apple store employees are planking. The NYT has a “hot new trend” piece on planking (this hasn’t actually happened yet; wait about 2 months).
Please. No more. This is stupid. This is a really stupid thing. Hahahahahahahaha we’re so zany! Look at Kylie totally planking on top of that pile of old bagels! Tyler, why don’t you plank next to her! OMG, laying down on stuff is crazy! And sharing these poorly-composed photos with my peers defines off-the-charts insanity!!!
No. Let’s do better. Let’s start something interesting. Let’s start a trend that makes a comment on our 21st-century existence and initiates valuable dialogue.
For example, what ever happened to icing? That shit was dope.
Yesterday I was on an overseas flight sitting behind a French family—two brothers and a mother. The brothers were about five and seven years old. During the flight, the boys got antsy, and the younger brother began running up and down the aisle antagonizing the seated elder, laughing and squealing all the while. During the course of this horseplay, the mother did nothing, and because I was in the aisle, my seat, leg, arm, and head were glanced several times by the little rascal. It was nothing too egregious, and to be honest I don’t blame the kids for being restless…we were flying fucking Continental. Those seats blow.
About 50 minutes into this episode, the rambunctious child stopped next to my seat and peered into my face. He really got in in there and had himself a look. What I almost did next shocked and disgusted me. I almost screamed “BOO!” right in his face. I swear to you, dear readers, that the “b” sound had formed on my lips and was about to escape before my emergency reserve of human decency kicked in.
So the question I pose is not “Am I a bad person?”, because most certainly I am.
My question is, what would have happened afterward? Obviously, anyone within a 3-row radius would have heard me. And it’s very likely that the kid would have started wailing, causing a prolonged scene…and prolonged scenes are never pleasant on an airplane. But what next? Would someone have ratted me out? Would the mom have assailed me with a jar of pâté? Would the flight attendants have formed a polyester-knit coup? Would we have made an emergency landing in Halifax, whereupon I would be sentenced to a lifetime clubbing seals and growing a lush, filthy beard?
Meet Romulo Celdran, artist and general big thinker. His art, as near as I can tell anyway, consists of taking mundane small things and making them huge. Let’s run that through Romulo’s artspeak modulator: “The concepts of Zoom and Macro give the object new dimensions, strengthening its presence and inviting us to explore it, discovering hidden spaces and unnoticed nooks.”
Nooks…I like that. Thanks Romulo.
He makes things like, pen caps, rubber gloves, and paint tubes, all of which you can check out here.
Basically he’s taking things that bore the shit out of me at normal size and by making them into immense objects he magnifies by boredom about 700%. Great Romulo, how about making a giant waste paper basket or a giant bedside table drawer so nobody breaks their necks on these things.
OK, earthquakes. We get it. You proved your point. Man is nothing but a selfish, sexy ant colony crawling atop a giant hill—squashable with the sweep of a watery fist. Existance is fragile. Everything we hold dear can be taken away in an vengeful instant. We hear you loud and clear. Message freaking received.
Now you’re just being a dick, earthquakes. You’re a sick joke told 10 too many times. Don’t be that guy, bro. Leave Japan alone. And fuck you very much.
This weekend, I’m taking a little trip out of town and I’m renting a car. Let me say this right off the bat, I love renting cars. Hell, you spring for a nice one, you can open her up on some rural road and see what it takes before the chassis starts to shake. Plus, they usually smell terrific and it’s likely to be cleaner than the hotel you’re ending up at. But what I think I love most of all is terrestrial radio, or what’s left of it anyway. I feel completely overwhelmed by satellite radio and the aversion by some channels to playing any songs you’ve heard before. Now I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I’m speaking primarily about long car trips. I NEEEED the Night Rangers, the Franky Valley’s, and the little treats the oldies stations drop on you like the theme to Welcome Back Kotter by I Dunno and the Who Cares. Thank you regional DJ, and your ever-expanding catalog of what qualifies as an “oldie.” You’re all heroes of the road.