20 November 2002

songs to download & sing: in this order.
thrills, "santa cruz (you're not that far)"
-times change, i suppose, but what true-blue smiths fan could've imagined that morrissey would endorse a reggae outfit? none, and with good reason: the thrills are about as far removed from rock n' roll (and reggae) as can be. what starts out unnervingly like ben folds' "brick" soon assuages fears with banjo and barrelhouse piano, and ends with a leisurely gait akin to "raindrops keep falling on my head." is this what badly drawn boy records are meant to sound like?
roots ft. nelly furtado, "sacrifice"
-nelly plays the diaphanous dolly on the choruses, leaving the ragga ching-ching-chanting alone. what impresses most is the airiness of the track, elegant keyboards playing off of thrumming guitars.
fabolous, "this is my party"
-itchy and edgy, with a hopped-up organ part courtesy of timbaland. an aside: is fabolous (a) an unwitting misspelling (b) a dialectal thing, like "herre" or (c) an intentional misspelling because "fabulous" is oft-times associated with drag queens?
blur, "don't drop the bomb when you're the bomb"
-the parting with graham now plays like a refutation of guitar rock. oh, that bbc america would broadcast top of the pops so i could see this appearance: the band in basic black, armed with strap-on 80s keyboards and powerbooks, 'playing' with their backs to the audience.
joe ft. jadakiss, "i want a girl like you"
-for the neptunes, retro-minimalism sounded neat; for timbaland and missy, it's something of a tract. for rodney jerkins, it's a cash-in, but i can't quibble with the results. this almost puts me in mind of make it last forever.
robbie williams, "come undone"
-it's about the pitfalls of fame; about robbie's divided soul; about his love/hate affair with the england that made him. but let's not shit ourselves: it's about the chorus, and it soars appropriately.
slum village ft. ms. jade & raje shwari, "disco (remix)"
-conscious rappers set science aside in favor of the busting of moves. ms. jade teaches them the newest steps.
erick sermon ft. al green, "love iz"
-e-double jax another track -- "love & happiness," this time -- and the sampled artist has the good sense to be alive. al green on a hip-hop record seemed inconceivable at one point but, hey, it iz about love.
mariah carey, "bringin' on the heartbreak"
-starting at 2:58, i finally hear what many reviewers indicated about the xtina album, i.e. she's cracked. mariah shows that la aguilera has still much to learn, and what could be a better object lesson than an overblown orchestral remake of a def leppard hit? of course, the preceding 2:57 proves why sensible people don't listen to mariah carey records.
bobby darin, "i think it's going to rain today"
-the discovery of this version of the song makes me consider cloning mike's 'clowns' project. judy collins, manfred mann, melanie, bette midler, joe cocker, dusty springfield, rick nelson, ub40, neil diamond, francoise hardy, the animals, helen reddy, nina simone, ritchie blackmore (!). very tempting.

17 November 2002

"what do you think of modern art?" gardener raymond deagan asks this question of his employer, cathy whitaker as the two view a painting by miro. in the hartford of 1957, modern art is as strange a sight as a black gardener and a white housewife standing side-by-side, speaking to each other with familiarity. raymond sees modern art as a continuation of spiritual art, a stripped-down continuation: everything unnecessary is removed and the emphasis is on shape and color. cathy's contemporaries prefer the work of michelangelo; her reply to raymond -- "i know what i like and what i don't like" -- is typical of her position and class (upper-middle), but, though she can't quite express it, one senses that her appreciation of miro is genuine...as is her appreciation of andrew.

the evaluation of art is ultimately in the eye of the beholder. take douglas sirk, for example. his detractors think his melodramas of the fifties were trashy and vulgar. so too do his fans, but they also realize that there's more than just what meets the eye. todd haynes belongs to this latter camp, and his new film, far from heaven, from its florid title card to its bold use of color, is an homage to the master and a brilliant, affecting work in its own right. as the film opens, a close-up of a canvas adorned with brilliant red, yellow, and orange brushstrokes fades into the foliage of a tree in a quiet, rustic neighborhood where autumn is in full flight. this transition from painting-to-reality is the obverse of the film: in far from heaven, norman rockwell's saturday evening post covers are put under the magnifier, revealing layers and details unobservable from a normal distance.

cathy whitaker is a suburban housewife with two delightful children and an impeccable home, a woman whose good deeds do not go unnoticed by the society pages of the local paper. like her friends, she wears long, frilly dresses and scarves; says things like "perfectly lovely" and "darling" and "a wretched mistake"; she even wraps dinner and delivers it to her husband when the demands of business dictate long hours. frank whitaker is a successful sales executive for magnatech, manufacturer of televisions and radios. in fact, the whitakers are 'mr. and mrs. magnatech,' the thoroughly modern couple pictured in magnatech advertisements. look closer at the ad and, amid the colored dots, you'll see strain marking the face of mr. magnatech and concern troubling the countenance of his wife.

frank has a problem, the nature of which i won't divulge in this review. after its discovery, neither he or cathy are able to talk about it properly. cathy, at first, tries to ignore it. when frank brings it up, cathy notes her inability to deal with it. for his part, frank is hardly more eloquent, unable to complete a full sentence. they decide to together to get help for him, though it proves a difficult road. frustrated, frank screams, "i just want to fucking get it over with!" and, given the film's context, it feels like a backhand strike.

it is in the midst of this family crisis that cathy strikes up a friendship with raymond deagan, the family's gardener. he is sympathetic and a calming presence. besides working as a gardener, he also owns a supply store. his discourse at the art show demonstrates that he is cultured. he is also a widow with a young daughter. during their first meeting, cathy is being profiled by the local newspaper. overseen by the reporter, cathy is noted as "being kind to negroes" in the article. her friends note that she's always had something of a liberal streak in her, performing plays with "sweaty jews" in her youth, the kind of action that earned her the nickname "red." as her marriage devolves and her friendship with raymond develops, cathy finds herself the victim of the eyes of hartford: their judgement unleashes grievous consequences upon both her and raymond.

far from heaven may be exactly the kind of film sirk would've liked to have made in the 50s. his last major film, imitation of life, hints in this direction; perhaps the inability to do so was one of the reasons behind his early retirement. the hollywood code would never have allowed many of the things that occur in this film to find their way on screen. deagan asks, "can't we see beyond the surface, the color of things?" his question seems to have a double meaning: it can be directed at those who love sirk merely for the appearance of his films, ignoring his critique of society, but it's also intended for the audience. beyond the code restrictions, this film could never have been accepted in the fifties: the sympathy for deagan and cathy would not be there; filmgoers would not rally behind raymond's plea for acceptance. thus, the reason why far from heaven needed to be a work of modern art: a contemporary audience realizes how silly a lot of what happened in the fifties was: the styles, the sayings, the gender roles, the racism. haynes allows us to strip away all of that which is unnecessary. as we look beneath the surface and examine the film carefully, we see that what was essential back then remains so today: love, understanding, compassion.

15 November 2002

for reader ease, here is the entirety of the jay-z review, in chronological order, with the addition of 'the curse.'

"i want to thank...bono and family for your hospitality and for showing me how to live in the south of france." (from the liners of the blueprint 2: the gift & the curse)

listening to the blueprint, the first, i'm reminded of how rich an album it is, how the flow, the music, and even the sleeve combine to produce this sumptuous piece of music. in this 'cribs' era, it's very easy, with the aid of a little bling, to create the appearance of opulence -- home movie theatres, waterproof pool tables and personal starbuckses. the blueprint's singular accomplishment, however, was to exude class. at the time, i said it was like floating in a glass of kristal: the blueprint 2, then, is what happens when that glass overflows and one drowns in it.

when building a structure, a second blueprint is only necessary when the original is found to be flawed in some way, or when a refinement of sorts is required. running contrary to this, the blueprint 2 is an explosion of the first: 'the gift' disc is an expansion of the light-hearted, celebratory half; 'the curse,' a disc full of the introspective material that largely comprised the second half of the blueprint. 'the gift,' by and large, is being able to be jay-z and to share in the benefits reaped thereby; 'the curse' is having to live off record, having to go through real life being sean carter -- young, black, and rich -- and dealing with the problems that have plagued his past and present.

the blueprint 2 is also a refutation of its forbear: the sound is far less cohesive and, unlike the last record, relies heavily on superstar producers (timbaland, dr. dre, the neptunes). the sleeve is no-frills and no-nonsense: gone are the measurements and the actual blueprint, replaced by close-ups of jay-z throughout and, for the back photo, a christ-like pose, jay in white, emitting white light from his hands, while an adoring crowd looks on. the cover shot recalls earlier jay-z albums where the emphasis was on his face. the blueprint was an aberration, with jay smoking a cigar, shot from above, and the feet of his crew visible along the right border. it's a pose that says: "i've made it."

"this must be the way the nigga pac felt when he made me against the world, all eyez on me..." (from "some people hate")

the double albums that seemed to start the trend amongst rappers were 2pac's all eyez on me and b.i.g.'s life after death. with these two, what the double seemed to imply was a sense of having made it; that they were at the point where their personalities had expanded so that they couldn't be contained on a single disc. that album for jay-z seemed to be the blueprint: from the cover down to the songs themselves, it represented all that was great about the man. jay's fecundity is renown: since 1996, he's released at least one album a year. this double contains a great deal of material, but what's even more shocking is that, with all the music floating around since the blueprint, he could easily fill another disc. he really has nothing left to prove, so i can only guess that he wanted to create that hip-hop, no, that rock n' roll anomaly: a great double album.

"the sinatra of my day" (from "hola hovito")
"we made us, the ratpack, i'm sinatra..." (from "i did it my way")

not exactly hyperbole. like frank, jay-z doesn't work with what is considered traditional r&b, stax loops notwithstanding, yet he does posess a certain soulfulness in his delivery. consider jay-z the vegas sinatra: despite the heavy drinking and all of the skirt-chasing, when he's on, and has the right song, he's able to tap into something very real. "you must love." "soon you'll understand." "song cry." like eminem, his chief artistic and commercial competitor, jay posesses two distinct identities: the jigga-man and sean carter. the one fucks hos and drinks mo, the other reflects on the poverty of his childhood and mourns black-on-black crime. what he has over eminem is that both of his personas are enjoyable; he doesn't grate when he turns and faces himself. the presence of one only improves the other, just as sinatra sings for only the lonely balances out songs for singin' lovers. jay is not ashamed to cry; eminem can't get past anger and consequently, as on "cleaning out my closet," bitches and moans.

"for those that think hov fingers bling bling'n either haven't heard the album or they don't know english, they only know what the single is, and singled that out to be the meaning of what he is about..." (from "the bounce")

'the gift' begins on something of a dour note. spidery guitars and moby pianos make "a dream" sound more like foreboding nightmare. since the whole nas feud, jay-z seems somewhat shaken, unsure exactly of where he stands with the hip-hop community. (perhaps this is why he released a double, to reassert himself?) b.i.g. comes to him in his dream and basically tells jay to stay the course, his appearance serving to remind the listener of jay's pre-eminence on the scene.

"a dream" plays like a prelude, containing an underlying motif of insecurity and defensiveness that will haunt the rest of the set, especially on the 'the curse' disc. "hovi baby," then, acts as the true album opener: like "the ruler's back," it's more in the spirit of jigga-ness that prevails on 'the gift.' when i first heard it, i was quite pleased. not necessarily with the song, which was good if not great, but with the fact that it seemed as if jay had a band backing him. i said at that time: "jay-z owns his career." despite record company pressures or commercial concerns, jay's career will go exactly where he wants it to (see the unplugged album with the roots, for one). disappointment set in when i saw the credits: "hovi baby" contains a sample from the video mix of tlc's "diggin' on you," suggesting that perhaps jay-z will go where his producers take him.

from the rest of the disc, one gleans the following:
-jay-z's been in the game since, very likely, the listener was suckling at his mother's (i.e. the listener's) breast. ("the watcher 2")
-jay-z may or may not be bonking beyonce. ("'03 bonnie & clyde.")
-jay-z, at times, makes music "for the grown and sexy" ("excuse me miss.")
-jay-z is an international lover ("all around the world.")
-jay-z, it's safe to say, has more money than you. ("poppin' tags")
-jay-z can fuck all nite if you can. ("fuck all nite.")
-jay-z is more than a match for osama bin-laden. ("the bounce.")

and all of this is very humorously told -- it's what we expect. what we *also* expect are great beats, club bangers. it's on the count that 'the gift' disc the fails. "the watcher 2" offers more of the monstrous precision that has ruined a number of modern-day dre productions. the neptunes tracks ("excuse me miss," "fuck all nite"), and this holds for their productions on 'the curse,' sound more like kelis tracks than n.o.r.e. or clipse or benzino beats. not a bad thing in itself since their r&b productions are frequently less one-dimensional, but here the synths are of a sugary, hi-c variety that go down easy but pass through one's system quickly.

"all around the world" sounds like a blueprint outtake and "poppin' tags," despite big mike -- sans cock rhymes -- and big boi's presence, bores and trundles on for an inconceivable six minutes. "'03 bonnie & clyde," though, surprises: up to this point, it had probably been my least favorite jay-z single, but in the context of the album, it sounds fantastic and, truth be told, it makes me crane my neck. and, per usual, timbaland doesn't disappoint: on "what they gonna do," sean paul grumbles and talks about anal sex (i think) while fresh sly stone percussion rattles and thudding synth notes fall from the sky. then a dancehall beat emerges and makes one wonder why timbaland hasn't produced a beenie man or sean paul single (or has he?). "the bounce" does just that during the voices, hardly exciting, but the chorus has a classic timbo touch, this undecipherable, crackling vocal sample that becomes incredibly addictive.

the last track on the disc is "i did it my way," which samples the song of the same name. as sung by paul anka. jay rhymes about being the new sinatra on this track while anka -- the song's english translator -- sings one of ol' blue eyes's signatures. besides coming at a higher price, a sinatra sample would've been difficult to contend with -- the song would no longer be all about jay-z, which would be a sin. sinatra made "my way" his own through experience; elvis, by sweat; sid vicious, through sneer. jay accomplishes the trick through juxtaposition: the production is similar to "hard-knock life," but the difference here is that the sample is off-set by a hard hip-hop beat, which makes the chorus twinkle brighter and the pause more poignant. a very bizarre, very affecting success.

by touching on his troubles with the law and with a tenant review board, "i did it my way" is the segue between the two discs, foreshadowing the perils of fame that become an unfortunate pre-occupation of 'the curse.' it's fitting that the jay-z persona begins to fade away before the conclusion of this disc and that the beat is 'affecting' rather than, say, 'slamming.' what i expected from 'the gift' was, well, an orgy of beats and rhymes. the disc blew its load early and had a hard time keeping it up throughout. sounds like a curse to me. but what does 'the curse' sound like?

"it ain't just hos and gun shit, i switch topics..." (from rell's "it's obvious")

'the curse' disc is where we expect to find DEEP THOUGHTS, to discover the state of s. carter and hopefully get more of that redeeming vulnerability. if you weren't aware, jay-z has become rather famous. as evinced by the shout to bono, he's gone global. i believe it was b.i.g. who said "mo' money mo problems," a sentiment echoed by jay on this record. and so here is the problem with 'the curse': fame may indubitably be a bitch, but is there anything more fucking boring than listening to a famous person bemoan their situation? tackled correctly, it's presumably possible to evoke sympathy from the listener, but that album, as of november 15, 2002, has yet to be made. what we learn from 'the curse':
-sean carter had his application rejected by a condo governing board ("diamonds is forever.")
-sean carter has been hated on and continues to be hated on ("some people hate.")
-sean carter is a philanthropist and no one gives him his due. ("blueprint 2.")
-sean carter, it is safe to say, has more money than you. ("nigga please.")
-sean carter is bothered by fans in clubs, especially by his male fans. ("2 many hoes.")
-sean carter owns a record company, a record company with artists ("diamonds is forever"), artists who appear on jay-z's album ("u don't know (remix)," "as one.")

intrigued yet? of course, i lathed this disc to fit my purposes. the tragic thing is that jay-z hasn't forgotten how to tell a story, to make the listener genuinely feel something. "some how, some way" is a beautiful throwback to the previous album. it's a standard tale of finding one's way out of the hood, but the attention to detail and the sighing of the track elevate it.

"meet the parents," on the other hand, isn't standard. the song is told through the vantage point of a woman whose wayward son has just died and his body is available for viewing down at the station. jay-z recalls the events that led up to the woman's pregnancy, aspiring to poetry with lines like, "it was just this night, the moon was full, and the stars were just right." striking an autobiographical note, jay-z, raised by a single mom, exhorts, "niggas, be a father, you're killing your sons." it is positively galvanizing and its presence on the album merely illuminates all of its faults.

ironically enough, the beats are better on this disc than on 'the gift.' "u don't know," a remix of a blueprint track, benefits, like all tracks laced with landmines, from the appearance of new roc-a-fella signees, m.o.p; "diamonds is forever," with its hushed synths, is insidious; "2 many hoes" pulses with indian strings, boom-bap beats, and a yelping vocal sample; "ballad of a fallen soldier," though dubiously comparing nyc cops with al-qaeda, weeps like an s.o.s. band ballad. 'the curse' is a triumph of style over substance, like the blueprint 2 as a whole. i've nothing against such an arrangement, except when, by and large, the style is about as happening as karl kani or cross colors.

the blueprint 2 calls to mind another double album that appeared at about the same time as all eyez on me and life after death. drunk on their own essentiality, the wu-tang clan released wu-tang forever and the whooshing sound that accompanied it was the sound of their commercial prospects going down the shitter. not that i think that this album should hurt jay-z's commercial standing, but at the foundation of both of these records is colossal self-absorption. the blueprint 2 makes for a house that is often very impressive to look at with many modern accoutrements, but it's not a home where you'll find jay-z's heart. like a blueprint, it's all plan, little execution; lots of talk, little action. jay-z may want to take a look at this blueprint and reconsider it; issue a third blueprint with amendments and refinements. or maybe he should scrap the plan and start from scratch: there's enough evidence on record to prove that he's still got the raw materials.
since the gulf war, saddam hatred has always been close to the surface. but with patriotic fervor running high, the release of conflict: desert storm for xbox -- perhaps you've seen it on tv, the ads ending with a cgi image of saddam in crosshairs -- well, it strikes me as something of a cash-in.

13 November 2002

w/r/t jay-z, i'm working on it. look for it tomorrow, i think. for now, meta-criticism: "2 many hoes."

11 November 2002

songs to download & sing: (in this order.)
justin timberlake, "cry me a river"
jay-z, "2 many hoes"
tlc, "damaged"
brendan benson, "tiny spark"
freeway, "line 'em up"
yeah yeah yeahs, "maps"
missy elliott, "gossip folks"
foo fighters, "times like these"
clipse, "young boy"
nickel creek, "spit on a stranger"
i had wanted to write an in-depth review of 8 mile, but i figure i can save myself a lot of work by simply saying that 8 mile = rocky iii. it's a fight film for a generation more involved with the battles between jay-z and nas than those between roy jones jr. and john ruiz. this realization dawned upon me from the very first scene: jimmy "rabbit" smith jr. (eminem) in a dingy bathroom, looking at himself in the mirror, shadow-boxing, improving his footwork. there's a palpable sense of pre-fight jitters; physical proof of the same when rabbit vomits into a toilet. he's led out of the men's room down a dark corridor, wearing a hood, with his entourage bringing up the rear.

8 mile is rocky iii, in particular, because rabbit loses that first battle -- he chokes. the momentarily victorious clubber lang is embodied by battle champion poppa doc; eminem, of course, is the great white hope himself; future (mekhi phifer) is his apollo creed, helping rabbit to regain the "eye of the tiger." alex (brittany murphy) is his adrian, sort of; the spectre of vanilla ice is thunderlips, a towering illegitimate that he must topple. mickey is, essentially, 8 mile itself and all that it encompasses: the dead-end job, the ex-girlfriend, the trailer park with his drunken mother and his innocent little sister.

though i won't go into it, i was pleased that the movie didn't have a tidy resolution. like with any rocky movie, the filmgoer knows from the start that the rock is going to win, and i don't think i'm spoiling anything by saying that rabbit ultimately triumphs. but he's not fighting for the belt; he's fighting for, as trites as it sounds, respect. his victory is merely a first step in some direction. going in one knows the outcome, and in these films it's all about how the filmmaker pulls it off. curtis hanson, for his part, acquits himself and his film quite thrillingly: the end battle scenes are as exciting and as purely visceral as any film i've seen since gladiator.

eminem's performance was also a pleasant surprise. sure, he's playing himself, like prince in purple rain, but who knows his life better? he drifts across the screen rather effortlessly, feeding off the energy of those around him and directing it back at them. there are some lines where he seems to strike the right note, as if he were replicating a past response to a similar situation in his life rather than producing a reaction suitable to the actual scene. overall, though, you rarely notice that he's acting -- as fair a compliment as he could ask for.

as the film comes to a close and the credits roll, the opening chords of "lose yourself" are heard. in it, you hear the triumphalism of bill conti's original rocky theme, "gonna fly now," and the savage determination of rocky iii's "eye of the tiger." it confirms that the film has done everything it set out to do.

here's a final reason why 8 mile is rocky iii: it was also the best of the series.

10 November 2002

more on femme fatale. i had wanted to say that the film is also about how difficult it is, in this technological world, to maintain any semblance of privacy. the audience shares in this as they themselves feel as if they're being monitored.

more comparisons: hitchock, as always. romijn-stamos is the hitchcock blonde, obviously. chinatown: the relationship between ashe and nicolas bardo (antonio banderas) mirrors that of evelyn mulwray and jake gittes: guy takes photo of high society woman, feels bad about the repercussions of his act.

09 November 2002

"if you could see the future...would you change it?" this question, posed by a french psychic, emanates from an unwatched television; it also weaves its way through brian de palma's femme fatale. laure ashe (rebecca romijn-stamos) is a thief who double-crossed her partners and was left for dead by one of them: it doesn't take a mystic to see that if she doesn't change, her future outlook is not so good. the deus ex machina presents itself through a case of mistaken identity. without a second thought she leaps at this second chance, knowing that she'll die without it, and hoping that she doesn't live to regret it.

it probably wouldn't surprise you to read that a de palma film is all about image, image, image. the double-cross takes place at the world's largest flesh festival, cannes; flashbulbs illuminate the red carpet as stars from around the world parade down the red carpet; there is a rather steamy sex scene that takes place in the auditorium's ladies' room. but in femme fatale, the concern is with images -- a developed photo is of greater interest than its flesh & blood subject. television screens, passport photos, films, posters, computer monitors: despite being placed in the background, this is where femme fetale's story is told. tellingly, the film opens with a scene from double indemnity; in an act of foreshadowing, ashe's image reflects on the television screen, becoming one with barbara stanwyck. (of note: double indemnity, an english-language film, is broadcast with french subtitles; much of femme fatale is the exact opposite. it represents one of the most extensive uses of subtitles in a studio film that i've seen in quite some time.)

de palma seems to be saying that, in today's society, with our power books and digital cameras, everybody is watching everybody else. at one point, at cannes, the cameras turn around and give the impression that the audience itself is being watched. the audience, for its part, rarely gets the chance to watch the film through its own perspective: de palma not only fetishizes technology -- phallic stun-guns, slithering spy cameras, weaponry caressed like body parts -- but he also employs it handily. the film is seen through binoculars, high-tech spy gear, and night-vision goggles; point-of-view is frequently altered, placing the moviegoer into the scene; angles, especially those of the slowly descending sort, are varied throughout. the ultimate effect: you're watching someone else watch the film.

so the virtuoso filmmaking offers its own thrills, but wouldn't be worth much of a damn without a story (remember timecode?) and the script, written by de palma, is frequently compelling. comparisons have been made with mulholland drive, and they're not unsubstantiated. there's hott lesbian action, yeah, but there's also a question of identity and doppelgangers and the mutability of the future. lynch's interest, however, is in metaphysics; de palma's with the purely physical. so femme fatale doesn't resolve itself with a little blue box, but the plot device is so pat that you'll wish it did.

which is to say that the film is not flawless: aside from the resolution and some other plot points that i really can't go into, romijn-stamos isn't naomi watts and she probably should've watched double indemnity more carefully. but what she does have over barbara stanwyck is a supermodel bod and a director not shy about employing it. those looking for deep meaning are hereby directed to the arthouses: drunk on voyeurism, femme fatale is all about surfaces. and gloriously so.

07 November 2002

ready to have your mind blown? okay. there's a track on the new jay-z album entitled "guns 'n' roses." it features lenny kravitz. it samples cake, i.e. the band. still with me? okay. it is produced by HEAVY BUM-DIDDLE-LEE-D. where has he been?! apparently scouring cake records, searching for breaks. the cake community is up in arms -- since they seem to be centralized in new york state, very few of you are in any immediate danger. cake themselves remain suspiciously quiet regarding the matter.
i just saw a commercial for fsad. that's "female sexual arousal disorder," when a woman is unable to achieve or maintain, yes, sexual arousal. (like the germans, american society is slowly coming up with a name for everything.) the commercial wasn't really catchy, though. it was just a bunch of multi-culti women in front of a colorful background -- and no, there wasn't any morphing whatsoever. also: no images of happy couples out experiencing life, free of crippling dysfunction or of people looking at themselves in mirrors with a palpable sense of smug self-satisfaction. worst of all, it lacked a clever tagline. two suggestions:
fsad: he's not the only one who can't "get it up."
fsad: because maybe you really do have a headache.

though i expect the mass-mailers out there to come up with something far more clever.

05 November 2002

i apologize to those of you whose lives have been thrown into utter disarray by my absence. i assure you: i have been writing. just not here. i've actually had to write four essays for school: two, of a "creative" nature, are viewable here; the other are not (one is about moll flanders and becky sharp; the other is about the films of don siegel). so, if you want to read about glasses and youthful solipsism, go right ahead; if you want to learn more about the links between hot dogs and family, you're equally free to do so.
i don't think i've ever linked this before. if i have, it certainly wouldn't hurt to re-post. for timbaland fans out there, here is his production discography, courtesy of timbaland heaven. latest additions are the justin trax, i believe. simply put, you need to hear "cry me a river."

01 November 2002

finally, a political party i can get behind. (shizzolator link courtesy of thomas.)