Tuesday, July 31, 2007

NASCAR Coach Reveals Strategy: "Drive Fast, Turn Left"

NASCAR Coach Reveals Winning Strategy: 'Drive Fast'

ONN is a great site, and is sure to gain more and more momentum in the time to come, just as TheOnion.com did years ago. I'm consistently shocked at how strong the satire is over there. I wonder who runs it.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

cruelty, compassion and the chance for change

Her lips are pulled back in a snarl as she circles the quivering mass of sinew, blood and tangled fur on the cement floor. The lightbulb in the centre of the room moves back and forth with the rippled momentum of the recently expended energy below. Its harsh light is reflected in her teeth - the teeth speckled with saliva and blood, the teeth that are about to meet in a rattling throat, the teeth with the power to extinguish life. Having just dealt a whiplash blow to the broken dog's right flank with her powerful forearm, she growls low, the flavour of victory on her hot breath. Her broad, heaving chest swells as the men around her roar for blood, more blood and not her blood.

She tenses. Leaps. Not even a sigh leaves the shattered throat of the nameless one as she rips its life from its already fading form. Back and forth she shakes the limp body, spraying the cracked grey walls with warm reds and sending the men nearest to her reeling back in gleeful disgust. The crowd erupts in shouts of victory or disbelief, money is violently shoved from one palm to another, but the dog notices none of it. With crazed thirst she vaults over the unidentifiable mess at her feet, careening towards the top of the dull, thick walls surrounding the ring of death. The belching perpetrators leaning on the barricade have no time to drop their beers before the wild beast is upon them. Her ears scream with muffled silence as her brain roars for blood, more blood and not her blood...

Recently indicted NFL superstar Michael Vick has been accused of participating in the extremely violent torture of animals; specifically dogs, destined to be used in dogfights. He has been hosting, funding and betting on these deathly matches for years as the case by the prosecutors will claim, and had even been present (and perhaps the hand behind) the drowning, hanging or electrocution of dogs which did not perform up to specific standards. Michael and three of his co-accused entered a plea of not guilty on July 26, while one of the accused is expected to plead guilty on Monday.

This disgusting practice is apparently a multi-million dollar illegal industry in the United States that sees the death and torture of uncountable, innocent animals for entertainment and gambling purposes.

I ask of you what I hope to be a rhetorical question: Is this right? Can this be justified in any way?

Dogs are bred to be killing machines. They live lives of darkness and violence, before they are shoved into a ring and ordered to kill or be killed. They are tools of bored, mindless people (or monsters if you prefer: one can hardly call individuals who thrive on such violence people in light of the moral connotations this word should carry with it) who exist outside the realm of rationality and compassion, and whose pathetic existence is given some illusory purpose through witnessing two animals disembowel each other.

This is a disgusting practice. I sincerely hope you all agree.

Imagine having lived your life without experiencing joy, peace, freedom, love, compassion. Every day darker than the last. Wire mesh, dull cement and hatred enclosing you in a cage you were born, raised, and will eventually die in.

Is it any better for a cow, a pig or a chicken to be mentally and physically broken for the pleasure of society than it is for a dog to be subjected to such horrors?

Whether the end result is a 5:1 win on a dogfight or a $6.95 cut of grade A beef, there is no justification for supporting intensive cruelty to our fellow creatures. Animals are not goods. They are not items. Their existence here on earth is not for the sole purpose of satisfying our insatiable appetite for entertainment or gluttony.

"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men."

- Alice Walker

For more information on how easy it is to begin the transition to a cruelty-free lifestyle, visit PETA or The Global Action Network .

- L.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

name that album cover!

Alright, so if you guys have been keeping up on the news in the past few months, you might've noticed that NASA has been getting a lot of flack for numerous issues (stalkers, sabotage, missing millions... all the makings for a smash summer intrigue flick). Aaaand the most recent debacle this highly-funded brain trust has had to face? Drunk flying. Seriously. A couple of astronauts flew/ attempted to fly a multi-billion dollar piece of irreplaceable equipment today, totally smashed and against the protest of fellow co-workers and doctors.

I believe this calls for an acronym-oriented organization to spring up under the wings of MADD (possibly called CRAAZIES - Citizens Reacting Against AstronautZ'imma pour one out for ma homies Inebriated Explorations in Space) or *gasp* a look by the American public into how the 16++ billion dollar funding that this organization gets each year could be better spent to prevent the mental break that had to have occurred in these otherwise brilliant individuals. Really, there is no way that a person with a strong grasp on reality would get behind the wheel of the Endeavour spacecraft, a vehicle worth roughly 18,000 times a Porsche 911 Turbo (some really cool, really expensive car...thank you wikipedia) completely sloshed out of their minds.

Almost as a side note to this story (as reported on the CBC the National today) was the final quote, "Alcohol is not allowed on the International Space Station. The Russians have proposed lifting the ban.", along the bottom of a hastily done, clip-art intensive image of a wine bottle floating through space with NASA on the side...classy :P

Cheers comrades!

- L.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rock the Bells in New York City

With an exam approaching in only a week, I find myself in possession of a ticket to Rock the Bells featuring none other than Rage Against the Machine.

I would have once sat and debated about whether to go, seeing as exams are so close, but with friends like Lauren, Tim and Ryan, I have seen the light (p.s. who needs enemies?). In any case, I'm trekking to see the spark of rebellion. To all the haters, I have to say:

Even in its distilled form, no matter where he has been, I am certain that the spark that drives Zack de la Rocha can not be extinguished. It may change incarnations, but it doesn't die. Read anything the guy ever said, watch any documentary. He wants change and it hasn't hit yet.

When I return I may post a few of my favourite parts of the show, but look elsewhere for a 'critique', because anybody who chimes in to tell you who wasn't 'up to par' at a rock concert left their balls in their Fallout Boy custom backpack (w/ Stickers omg).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Clark & Michael - Episode 2

Like the spirits of Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau embodied in awkward teenage bodies. I'm obsessed with Clark & Michael's quest to make their television debut. If you enjoy it, check out the site.

I'm personally a big fan of this new crop of online only, short-length episodic comedy. Clark & Michael, 28 Day Slater, Ross Has Herps: writers are forced to condense the best elements of their writing and therefore significantly up the LPM (laughs per minute, it's industry buzz talk, page me if you need to know more).

For example, an average episode of Roseanne has 0.01 LPM, with all jokes pertaining to "kicking Darlene's butt", while Ross Has Herps has approximately 1,500 LPM, each laugh carefully crafted by "Black People w/ Lots of Time" to be a masterpiece. The best thing about LPM is that it's completely objective.

Transformers: The Review (by a reviewer who believes in the adage "better late than never" :P)

Creepy Dude Joseph has been known to transform into a motorized toothbrushTwo creepy dudes emerged from the cavernous dark today to metaphorically pinch themselves and make sure the world was still there beyond the wall of scrambled text, definitions, equations and graphs that had been building over the past few days. Study breaks call for mindless fun, and what better than the movies! As a study break goes, Transformers was like ordering a single, medium pizza and getting a double sized fun-za with extra cheese and dipping sauce on the side delivered to your door instead. While not breaking any barriers, it nonetheless paired breathtaking, larger-than-life CGI with a straightforward plot and characters with some depth. The scenes were smashed together with furious control by director Michael Bay, creating action sequences epic enough to make even the most jaded of you catch your breath, at least once :P The dialogue on the part of the hero, if no one else, was layered with wit and an affable rapport with his father and "the love interest".

To make a long story short, go see it! ...and as I am fully aware it came out two weeks ago and I am probably one of the last people on earth to witness its glory, see it again, perhaps with an "enhanced" state of mind, and do it soon

- L.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Rolling Stone - The Record Industry's Decline

If there was one thing I learned about the music industry during my yearlong foray into its rigors, it's that -- just as in every area of business I've ever researched -- only a handful of people have any idea what the fuck is going on. From the retail manager to the label CEOs, from the artist & repertoire to the artist themselves, from rock n' roll to drum n' bass, from compact disc to mp3, there is only one solid, ubiquitous piece of information: I know I have no idea what will happen to this industry tomorrow.

Ever since vinyl demolished the first established music industry monopoly, which at the time was sheet music, music sales systems have taken on the characteristic of perpetual reincarnation. While unpredictable, it is today's major label heads who deeply understood this unpredictability, and were the ones who, despite their age and apathy to the cause (and probably music in general), understood how important it was to put Kurt Cobain's face on MTV.

But a new era has emerged. And in this period of change, the nature of music sales (and music itself, in fact) has become too turbulent to predict. The sales model has shifted. There is no more need for a deliberate campaign to get people into record stores. Every second online is another possible sale to a customer. There is no reason for anyone to buy more than a single track, unless the album is an absolute opus, beginning to end, track by track.

So in this time of change, where do we look to predict the future? As music lovers of course, please continue to not give a fuck about the future, and fuck this article, go put on The Hives real loud. That's what I'm going to do.


If you're interested in what is happening, and what has happened to the most recent of music industry phenomenon, I present The Rolling Stone's latest article on the industry, entitled Rolling Stone: The Record Industry's Decline. Die, All Right!

Sunday, July 8, 2007


If it bothers you that our cultural landscape is being reshaped by faceless media and corporate giants, take action.

If it scares you that nearly every click of your mouse or word typed on the keyboard in front of you is watched, recorded, stored and analyzed by corporations and governments, take action.

If it pulls at your heartstrings to think of the children working tirelessly to make the shoes on your feet, calloused fingers pulling the strings of thread through an infinite number of leather slabs they will never see any profit from, take action.

If you've ever wondered why your stomach growls, moans, complains and cries out after you've just eaten a money-friendly but nutritionally devoid meal at a fast food restaurant, take action.

If it is unsettling to you to see 10 year old girls mimicking the perfect, plastic, unattainable woman by ignorantly embracing mini skirts, eyeshadow and eating disorders, take action.

If you've ever felt short of breath outside for no apparent reason, then looked to the sky and saw only a dense smog of pollution, take action.

If you care about anything at all, do something. Write a letter. Join a protest. Shop smart. Walk, don't drive. Research. Stop and think. Question. Be critical. Support what you believe in. Jam the system with the choices you make in your daily life and watch the world change.

Take action.

- L.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

When the world gets you down

Just remember, there is art and beauty everywhere... even in the grime on the back of your car ;) (Click the pic to check out some more dusty art)