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Week #4: 2010 In Retrospect, Pt. 1

10 Jan

The Top 5 New-Year’s Resolutions I Wish I Had Kept In 2010

10 Jan

As I kick off the new year and undertake a new set of resolutions–new schemes for transforming myself into the envy of all mankind–I thought it prudent to first take a look back at 2010 and see what went wrong. As Dick Nixon once said, it’s important to learn from your mistakes. So here they are, My Top 5 Failed Resolutions of 2010…

(We’ll start with the most original)
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5) Going to the gym:

For three months I frequented the land of dumbbells and mystifying metal contraptions. I even bought the infant-sized jug of chocolate-malt-flavored whey protein powder. It was the greatest three months of my life, second only to those following my discovery of masturbation. In fact, I believe I came very close to achieving those so-called “v-lines” (aka “penis lines”) you read about in Cosmo and can notice quite prominently on the statue of David.

Alas, the season of motivation and personal betterment ended when I went to Costa Rica for spring break and proceeded to consume a wide variety of bean-and-melted-cheese creations along with pitchers of horchata. (BTW, Horchata’s rule. They taste like a chunkier version of the milk you find at the bottom of your bowl after you’ve enjoyed a hearty helping of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.)
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4) Avoiding all-nighters:

This one was doomed from the start. Thank god I graduated. Although I have this recurring dream that I didn’t. It’s very scary, but it’s usually followed by this other recurring dream I have where I’m bathing in a sea of raspberry jell-o with the cast of Aladdin, so the two cancel each other out.
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3) Not dropping the f-bomb in front of my grandmother:

Fuck that shit. On a related note, I thought it would be funny to tell my grandmother I’d burned her a CD of Frank Sinatra, when in fact said CD contained the musical compositions of a band named PIG DESTROYER–the preeminent pioneers of the genre “grindcore.”

Grammy was not amused.
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.2) Not catwalking in women’s clothing in front of other people’s grandmothers:

If you’re name rhymes with Schmennifer Schmounier, I’m sorry. PS, I saw Mrs. Schmounier the other day. She said I should pursue a career in male modeling… and also that my thighs are the color of angel’s wings.
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.1) Not watching music videos by Katy Perry:

I couldn’t resist. I waited for this thing to load in 720p because I thought Katy might do that thing that Jasmine does in my jell-o dream. But no. Not even close. Please view, in its entirety, right now. Post-video analysis to follow.

How could something like this come into existence you ask? Thanks to my telepathic abilities, I have the answer.

Director’s thought process: “Ok, so I was thinking of doing something really moving, empowering, and heartfelt, you know, to go with the moving, empowering, heartfelt lyrics. Something about believing in yourself and you are beautiful no matter what they say, words can’t bring you down, something like that. BUT! I’m torn. Because I also sorta just wanna shoot some fucking rockets outta Katy Perry’s tits.”

Katy: “I don’t know why you’re referring to me in the third person. That sounds ok. We can do both.”

Director: “Great!”

Random bystander: “Wait, don’t you think the sentiment might not be taken seriously if, umm, there’s rockets shooting out of her tits?”

Katy: “Shut up dude. Ok, what about the pregnancy scene?”

Director: “It’ll work great. We’ll shoot sparklers out of her vagina. Or like, emanating from her fetus.”

Katy: “Ok. And the fat girl? And the cancer patient?”

Director: “Same thing. See? Get it? They’re FIREWORKS. Like the song’s title: ‘FIREWORKS.’”

Random bystander: “I don’t know why I’m still here.”

Katy: “And what about the magician?”

Director: “What?”

Katy: “I really wanna have a magician scene.”

Director.”Uhhh…. yeah, ok…. I’m sure we can fit that in somewhere.”

Katy: “Great! Oh, and I want the final scene to be like the opening for the Beijing Olympics.”

[End scene]

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I know what you’re thinking, and yes, those were all real resolutions. Here’s to hoping my resolutions for 2011 are more successful than their predecessors.

Note: I’ve decided that in order to win the humble rumble, I need to bribe you. To this end, I’ve put together a large assortment of free music to download. It will be available later this week.

Just ask yourself: What’s more enjoyable? A well-written entry? Or the complete discography of Pig Destroyer?

Where was Nate Dogg in 2010?

10 Jan

I thought I’d get into the listo-mania spirit by compiling a list of musical artists I missed hearing in 2010.   Where was Paul Wall?  (Answer:  Right here).  I know Mystikal’s gonna make his comeback sometime soon.  But in trying to create said list, I realized there is one voice I miss most of all:

The smooth gangster crooning of one Nathaniel Dwayne Hale.  AKA Nate Dogg.

First, take a look at the resume, just what comes to mind:

  • Regulate- Warren G ft. Nate Dogg
  • 21 Questions- 50 Cent ft. Nate Dogg
  • Area Codes- Ludacris ft. Nate Dogg
  • The Streets- WC ft. Nate Dogg
  • Can’t Deny it- Fabolous ft. Nate Dogg
  • Lay Low- Snoop ft. Nate Dogg
  • Shake That- Eminem ft. Nate Dogg
  • Xxplosive- Dr. Dre ft. Nate Dogg
  • Oh No- Mos Def, Pharaohe Monch, Nate Dogg
  • The Next Episode- Dr. Dre ft. Nate Dogg
  • Till I Collapse- Eminem ft. Nate Dogg

(Papa Peasant would be so proud that my jobless self has compiled Nate Dogg’s resume before finishing my own.)

Nate Dogg made a career out of being simultaneously hard as fuck and smooth as G Baby’s bottom.

Artifact One: Song Titles-   Nate Dogg once wrote a song called “Dogg Pound Gangstaville.”  Let’s sound that out:  Dogg.  Pound.  Gangsta.  Ville.  You know who lives in Doggpound Gangstaville?  Me neither.  But Robin Thicke does not.

Artifact Two:  Music video- Probably my all-time favorite Nate Dogg Contribution:  “Can’t Deny It” with Fabolous.

(There should be a video below. If not, refresh your browser.)

Most rap videos feature artists swarming the camera, grabbing themselves, swinging chains, and nodding emphatically (see:  T-Pain, Chris Brown, R. Kelly, etc.).  Nate does none of this.  In fact, Nate Dogg acts like he’s doing us all a favor just by showing up for the shoot.  And he still shines.

Obviously, we also get to hear Nate’s voice here.  As one youtube user comment said, “Nate Dogg could make a nursery rhyme sound gangster.”  (Did I just properly cite a source in a post?  Wait.  Nope, no I didn’t).

Artifact Three:  A sampling of Nate’s lyrics.

I’ll keep it simple and stick with “Can’t Deny It”:

Y’all can’t deny it, I’m a fucking rider,

You don’t wanna bang with me,

And you know I brought my gang with me,

N*ggas trip, I got my thang with me.

Accurate on all counts, Nate.  I won’t try to deny it, nor will I try to bang with you.  You’ve also successfully differentiated yourself from your hook-singing peers.  Is Akon a fucking rider?  Not unless you count riding underage girls.  Which I don’t.  Nate would never do that, because the moment any female meets him, she immediately turns 24 years old.  It’s called magic, and Nate Dogg taught Harry Potter all the magic he knows.  He also taught him how to carry a god damn piece and sling dick like a g.  I think in book five.

Anyway, back to our question:  where is Nate Dogg?  Turns out he has been in serious recovery from a series of strokes that began in 2007.  At one point, his body was very severely paralyzed (“but only on the left side; yeah, that’s the crip side” (too much, Peter) (sorry)).   Obviously we all wish Nate the best in his recovery.

But in the meantime, the music world suffers.  Bon Iver just doesn’t cut it, Kanye.  You need Nate.  Dr. Dre knows this full well.  In fact, Nate Dogg’s absence is probably the sole reason for Dre’s Detox being pushed back for so long.  Dre is a perfectionist, and Nate provides perfection.  Dre refuses to water down his tracks by settling for lesser artists like Trey Songz or Ne-Yo.  He’s waiting for old faithful Nate to get healthy.

Let’s hope that he does.  2010 just wasn’t the same without you… Dogg.

The 5 Things in Pop Culture That Surprised Me Most About 2010

10 Jan

5. Ron Artest Wins a Championship Ring

I am not surprised that he sold said ring. That’s just typical Ron. But the fact that he sold it for charity, maintains a loving relationship with his family and won an NBA Championship is mind-blowing.  This is the same guy who went into a crowd and punched a fan. The same guy who has been a cancer on every other team for which he’s played.

Let’s play a game. Identify the real Ron Artest quote:

  1. “This guy comes in and says I was hot dogging it out there. What does that even mean? Do I look like a Nathan’s? Am I eaten by Kobayashi? Haha, Kobayashi, good man. I don’t know how we got on that subject.”
  2. “I grew up when Pluto was a planet. Now, I’m 25, I turn around and Pluto’s no longer a planet. I’m going to elbow that guy in the nose. I love Pluto. Everybody loves Pluto. There’s a dog named Pluto in the cartoons. I don’t know how we got on that subject.”
  3. “I love tweeting. Not the twitter thing. I just like making bird noises. [Artest makes bird noise].  Big Bird was my role model growing up. You think there’s a real Sesame Street? I sure hope there is. I don’t know how we got on that subject.”

For all you contestants at home, the answer was number 2. To my knowledge, he hasn’t said 1 or 3… yet. Yeah, this is the same guy who won a championship.

4. The Success of the iPad

I laughed when I saw the iPad come out. Really Steve Jobs? This is going to be profitable? This summed up my feelings at the time, but with higher quality wit.

Then Apple promptly sold 10 million iPads in less than 9 months – which is more than the iPhone sold in its inaugural 9 months. I have made poor estimations in my life. In fifth grade, I was sure JNCO’s would still be in style in 2010 (which explains a lot about my wardrobe. But come on, tell me you didn’t buy into this campaign: “Since 1991, JNCO has delivered the hippest denim jeans and phat styles to satisfy the demands of even the most hardcore hip-hop, skater, and other music oriented sub-cultures”). But I was never more flat-out wrong about a product than the iPad. Steve Jobs, you win. I will never question you again.

3. The Deaths of Leslie Nielsen and Gary Coleman

Mostly because I had absolutely no clue how old they were and vaguely thought both of them were already dead. My last Nielsen sighting: Wrongfully Accused. My last Coleman sighting: Star Dates (Skip to 5:45 for some serious awkwardness).

2. Sandra Bullock Wins Oscar for Best Actress

This is far more unsettling than Ron Artest’s championship. I mean, Ron Ron didn’t win any awards and was probably the fourth best player on his team. It was at least feasible.

But Bullock winning an Academy Award simply does not compute. In 2009, if you had told Sandra she would win an Oscar in 2010, she would have laughed. A few of her most famous films: Speed, Speed 2: Cruise Control, 28 Days, Miss Congeniality, Murder By Numbers, Two Weeks Notice, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, The Lake House, Premonition, and The Proposal. And it wasn’t like she held minor parts in any of these films; these were movies where she was the lead actress in the prime of her career. A few remarkable things about this list:

  1. I am no expert in addition, but I’m pretty sure the collective sum of these movies is 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 77% of that came from Speed.
  2. It contains two of the best names of sequels ever. The only sequel name that surpasses them is The Curse of the Cat People, which of course, is the sequel to Cat People.
  3. I’m pretty sure Premonition solely consists of outtakes from The Lake House.

Writer’s admission: I have not seen The Blind Side, nor do I plan on seeing it. I much prefer living in a world where the Academy randomly chooses winners and where there still exists a possibility that one day Nic Cage will hoist an Oscar over his head and declare, “NOT THE BEES, NOT THE BEES, NOT THE BEES!!” Oh wait, that happened already. At least the Oscar part.

1. Insane Clown Posse Makes Valid Argument

If you haven’t seen “Miracles” by Insane Clown Posse, do yourself a favor and watch it now.

Yes, my first view was simultaneously terrifying, confusing and arousing. But if you get beyond the ridiculousness, Insane Clown Posse makes some very sound points. Like Insane Clown Posse, I often ponder how magnets work, but doubt that any scientific explanation for this phenomenon exists. On a grander scale, Insane Clown Posse speaks to man’s common experience, like trying to feed a fish to a pelican in San Francisco, only to have the pelican try to eat your cell phone and then run away. Ladies and gentlemen, Insane Clown Posse: 2010’s Socrates.

Vote For Your Favorite Entry

10 Jan

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Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for Pt. 2 of our look back at 2010, coming soon.

Next week’s prompt: “Sports”