The things we boycotted pt. 1

I’m more interested in things people don’t like than the other way around.  I find its easier represent yourself by explaining the things that are opposite of you than something that is suppose to define you.

In that vein, here is a list of things I boycotted in the year of our lord, 2012:

1. Big Sean

Who gave this guy a rap deal? I can’t wrap my head around how basic his lyrics are. I don’t even think that rappers need to be “hard” as they say but wow, this guy is softer than the month-old bananas that currently are rotting in my fridge. Perhaps the most frustrating part about Big Sean is that Kanye hails him as this great lyricist.  How do I even respond to that? What?

2. Tumblr (sort of)

I joined tumblr about 2 years ago and randomly followed some tumblogs that were suggested to me.  I needed to populate my dashboard so I followed about everyone that was suggested for me.  Design?  Sure I enjoy a good coffee table.  Fashion?  Well yeah, I studied abroad in Europe.  Modern Art? Man, I’m so excited for some inspiration. *follow follow follow.*

What ensued was a constant stream of tattooed models, depressing quotes about the human condition and really really expensive coffee tables.  The seedy underbelly of tumblr is actually a hyper-stimulated fashionista playground where “chasing cool” becomes a really disgusting subscription to the blogs you follow.

I had to unfollow everything and start from scratch.  Now, my dashboard is a mix of Slate articles and cat pics, as order has been restored to my internet experience.

Edit: Only worth-while fashion tumblr is

3. Bad Parody Twitter Accounts

I only personally know about 15% of the people I follow on Twitter.  For some reason a lot of people I know from High School or other past endeavors love to retweet unfunny, low-brow tweets from fake (but supposedly funny) accounts.  ¿Por que?  Twitter is synonymous with Comedy, what’s with all the bad retweets?

Bad parody Twitter accounts include: Fill Warrell, Not Bill Walton, The Prez Obama, Fake ESPN

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The official “not going home for Thanksgiving” playlist

I sit here very actively not going home for Thanksgiving.  As my classmates flock back to their respective cribs, I sit immobilized by the high price of airline tickets and Thai food.  And yet, there is still a playlist to be had.  

This one goes out to everyone checking which gate their plane is departing from while holding a Malcolm Gladwell book in one hand and an over-sized water bottle in the other.  It goes out to everyone driving into their home radio market and finding the rap station that plays the same four songs in the best way possible.

It goes out to reacquainting with an old friend at a neighborhood bar and exchanging numbers, not bothering to mention you’re only in town for the next two days.

I don’t have the .org version of wordpress anymore so I can’t install a spotify plugin, but luckily there is this cool site called where you can get your gluttonous hands all this playlist.

My Thanksgiving plans as of Tuesday night at 10:54pm:

Skyfall, Lincoln, fix this blog, buy drain-o, buy groceries, pair all of my socks, sleep, free up space on my computer, tweet about Homeland, make a really good breakfast, solve the Middle East crisis.

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Don’t give music recommendations to people voting for Romney

Last Monday I finally figured out everything I had been trying to say about this election.  It’s an idea I had been struggling with.  I couldn’t articulate just what I wanted to say.  In an instant, it came to me.

 I wish I was in a upper division Poli Sci class so I could just turn in this sentence as an entire essay.

The Witstream tumblr account does this cool thing where they ask comedians about specific a specific tweet so seeing as this is my favorite tweet I’m going to talk about it as if someone was really interested.

I enjoy having this really hyperbolic view of Republicans being so out of touch with pop culture and technology.  I, of course realize this isn’t always the case, especially with technology (I just like to picture a Romney think tank with a bunch of old e-machines computers running internet explorer), but 99 out of the 100 people you meet at any decent concert are voting for the incumbent.

Don’t make me define decent.  Not here.

I wrote about this earlier, but I still can’t fathom how republicans can watch television or movies without feeling completely thrown under the bus.

I saw this after my tweet and it’s a similar idea.  Yet there is a glaring difference. Though top republicans still fight the war against pornography and sex education, neither party has a “leg up” on sex, as far as I know.

Music, though, that one is pretty easy.  Show me a conservative music blog and I swear to god I’ll quit the internet.

This tweet comes within the context of good bands getting upset about their songs being used in conservative ads.  I love Pitchfork’s headline, The National’s Fake Empire used in ad for Mitt Romney campaign, band is naturally furious.

I’m actually sort of serious about this statement. Fellow forward-thinkers shouldn’t offer out free music advice to those who vote to repress civil rights and hold down the lower class (though, I guess we can thank them for enabling garage rock and Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music album).  If we can’t get exclusive about music exclusivity what can we get exclusive about?

If you’re not going to vote for equal health coverage for the entire country then you don’t get to listen to Tanlines.

So join me in disabling Spotify Facebook updates, where others can see what amazing music you are listening to.  From now on there will only be one Pandora station and it will consist of Kid Rock, Meatloaf and Lana Del Rey.

Rdio forsure has our backs.

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On Sergio Romo and politics and the DREAM act

Sergio Romo showed up the San Francisco Giants World Series parade on Wednesday with a shirt that read, “I just look illegal.”

Despite whatever you may think about using sports (or really any other form of popular culture) to share political views, you have to give it up to Sergio for keeping it this real.

I’ve always loved Romo.  He’s by far the best interview on the Giants and he may just have the best slider in baseball.

Romo was born to Mexican parents in Brawley, California and last week became the first Mexican-American to save a game in the World Series.

Though the shirt was a little too “2007” for my taste, I applaud Sergio for his need to take a stance.  At this time of great need celebrities and others in the spotlight are using their influence to get out the message (perhaps at the request of Joe Biden).  In the past week we’ve seen Lena Dunham and Brad Pitt  endorse Barack Obama on social issues, and as Sergio Romo got dressed this morning he decided to tell the world about something that mattered to him and hundreds of thousands of other Americans.

The “I just look illegal” shirt speaks to two separate issues.  Most famously the Arizona law SB1070 which legalizes racial profiling which is just so ridiculous I’m not going to spend my time writing about it, and also the DREAM ACT.

I reported on the DREAM act a few years ago, but to sum it up, the DREAM act grants undocumented students permanent residency rights so they can do things like, I don’t know, get student loans or obtain a drivers license.  Republicans continue to vote down the act because they say it would reward illegal immigration they hate brown people.

The shirt is funny and poignant.  I like to imagine Sergio getting pulled over because he looked “illegal,” and then he flashes his World Series ring while taking out his drivers licence. Also, in this dream he is wearing the blazer from the giants “Single’s Night” promotional video.

Anyway, people aren’t illegal and they aren’t aliens, you’re just a racist.

Also, this.

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Romney is Swag, Swag is Romney

This is a real thing that happened:

Seems like just yesterday a bro didn’t have to make a rap vid in order to express their ignorant, misinformed and non-rhyming statements on the internet.  I guess thats the state of affairs in 2012, b.

Something that continues to baffle me about young conservatives or really just conservatives in general is how they consume popular culture.  Like, not just good popular culture like HBO but like popular popular culture?

I encourage you to visit to find out what’s good at the box office this weekend.  Also, don’t watch any ABC, NBC, CBS or FOX when Zooey Deschanel or that Indian girl’s show is on.

To be conservative you have to either not get the jokes or subtle undertones or just live in a complete bubble ignoring all types of popular entertainment and culture. Also, good luck on the internet

Which is why this video is so baffling to me.  Who are these kids’ favorite rappers?  I heard 50 cent was a republican, so I guess there’s that.  Ned Hepburn on Tumblr wrote “How can you hate black people so much yet love rap music.”  That’s great.  I love that. I think about that before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning.

“Yeah this country is great/but these taxes they suck”

There are so many great lines, I don’t have time to write them all down.

I hope these kids get curb stomped outside a Chik-fil-a by Omar Little.

This is also a video they did.  Are we being trolled? Where do they live?  Who does the hook on your songs? CAN THIS HALF-AZN RAY-BAN BRO DO AN AMA I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Also, here is a screenshot from the Romney 2012 online apparel store.  #swag.  Seriously though, I’ll take two of those heather gray 3/4 sleeves for me and my boyfriend.

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Being sort of emo in 2004

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a book by Stephen Chbosky which  a lot of my generation read during their formative years.  The book is sad, amazing and almost inspiring.

Since people don’t read books anymore (we have HBOGo now), it’s been made into a movie that debuts this week.

I read Perks in middle school.  I’m not sure why or who gave it to me or recommended it but it had a sort of cool green/yellow cover and spoke to me in ways S.E. Hinton just wasn’t at the time.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower tells the story of Charlie, a freshman in high school, who becomes close with older, cooler and gayer upperclassmen.  Charlie becomes a sort of pre-hipster, assimilating to his new environment while also slowly emotionally unraveling for a multitude of good and bad reasons.

When I was thinking about whether or not to see the film, I remembered a point I had made to a friend a few years back:

Not since Catcher in the Rye has a book been such an enabler for teenage angst and depression.  But Chbosky, I think goes even further.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower doesn’t just depict the wreckage of a teenage psyche but celebrates it. Charlie’s emotional complexities become an identity for the character, rather than a description.

This is all fine and good in a literary sense, the character, though embarrassing is someone you root for even when he’s not rooting for himself.  What I find disturbing is the way in which the book and its characters have been used as a launching off point for high school outcastism.  Essentially glorifying teen angst, Chbosky to his credit, makes the sad, loser kid who can’t make friends his own age into this awkward yet attractive hero.

On my MySpace profile, I had The Perks of Being a Wallflower listed as one of my favorite books because I noticed that the post-emo girls who I thought were cute usually also had the book listed as their favorites.  The book seemed to create this literary emo circle, which to it’s credit was very marketable at the time.

What I would realize years later, long after I put down the Conor Oberst records and stopped pretending that Donnie Darko is a good movie, is that glorifying this melancholic outlook is about the most counter-productive thing a teenager can do.

Which isn’t to say I didn’t totally buy into Charlie.  In fact, I saw a lot of myself in him.  Part of the story is dependent on Charlie’s birthday being close to Christmas just like mine, and I especially enjoyed his comments regarding the separate presents dispute (separate, thx).

Charlie’s inability to help himself and the way he quickly morphed into a sad older pre-hipster seemed so over-wrought and exaggerated to the point where I found myself angry.

A picture of me from 2004 to make this that much more real.

There were people, classmates not unlike myself who were vindicated by the book who read it as an enabler for some dreary-yet-cool construction of self.  It’s easy to see no now that romanticized depression is an oxymoron, but try telling that to Romeo and Juliet or the girls I knew on MySpace.

So part of what pisses me off about the movie is this same idea, but now Emma Watson is part of the picture so its that much more persuasive to people similar to 14-year-old me.  I don’t have my finger on the pulse of 9th grade trends so I can’t say if there’s a similar point of reference (maybe sad Robert Pattinson memes), but I would suggest emotionally impressionable, fickle 14-year-olds save the $13.95 ticket and subsequent years preparing free-form poetry by staying away from this movie.

Also, we are not infinite. YOLO.

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The Most Elusive Icelandic Indie Song on the Internet

Here’s the trailer for a 2010 film called “The Exploding Girl.” It looks like a good movie but I never saw it. I heard it was aight.  Zoe Kazan is a fox.

Like any warm blooded internet user, I immediately searched for the song in the trailer.  It’s excellent and I needed it in my iTunes library as soon as possible. This was 2010 of course.

Some YouTube commenters were wondering the same thing, but no one was really getting anywhere.  A quick Google search showed me that others were in pursuit of the same mp3.

Now around ten minutes into a song search, I watched the trailer again.  This trailer is great, I need that song in my library quick.

I stumbled across a chatroom discussing the song.  Apparently the song sounds a lot like the band, Mum.  Wikipedia told me that Mum is a band from Iceland which formed in 1997, not unsimilar to my initial Sigur Ros guess.

Okay, so if the song is by Mum, what is it called? There were many links to a song called “We Have a Map of the Piano” by the band, which, though very good was definitely not the trailer song.

After a week of getting no where I was feeling pretty stumped.  Never before had I been completely fooled on the whereabouts of a song.  What is this internet even for?  Had the song been created solely for the movie? If so, why isn’t anyone trying to monetize this masterpiece works so perfectly over images of sad indie 20-somethings.

I proceeded to Google search, finding leads that fizzled somewhere over the Baltic Sea.  I broke my rule and began posting on the chat rooms myself.  Enraged that new one had written the producer of the film, I drafted a letter and looked for an email address.

Coming up short again, I decided to take a month hiatus on the search.  I would check again when the trailer had been seen by more people. In May of 2010 Mum posted on their website (which has a pretty cool design) that the song does indeed have their finger prints on it, only it came from their previous band, Andheri.  The song is called “Hvernig á Aðsær Vinisína” which translates to “How to hurt our friends,” which we probably all should have been able to guess.

Andheri, I would find out only released one EP with 7 songs on it.  None of those 7 songs, however were the elusive, “Hvernig á Aðsær Vinisína,” meaning that there is a good chance the song isn’t even in mp3 format.  Mum received requests daily on their guestbook to post the song in mp3 format. This is my favorite request:

Had I come to the end of the journey?  I found out what the song was called and traced its origin back to a mid 90’s Icelandic band.  To an extent yes.  Still, it was the only song I had come across and not really found.

Fast forward now to summer of 2012.  Bored on the couch, I decided to google the song again as I had done periodically over the past few years. You know,  just in case there had been any new development in the “How to Hurt your Friends” department.

And what do I find, but this…

Those sneaky Icelanders re-released the song as a Mum song.  You can imagine my surprise.  A snare drum was added throughout the song, which I  dislike, but perhaps it was in the original.  I’ll never know.

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