28 February 2009

[/rant] Poorest, Least Educated, Most Violent, Least Healthy States=Red States

The map above (which I made myself!) is the twenty states in the nation with the least median household income during 2004-2006. Red indicates top ten in all the maps.
All but Maine and New Mexico voted for Bush in 2000; all but Maine voted for Bush in 2004. Even in this past landslide election, all but five voted for McCain.

The second map (also made myself) is the twenty-three lowest ACT score states as of 2008. Illinois, Michigan, and Colorado made all of their H.S. juniors take the ACT, so their presence on the list is most likely a fluke. But, in case you didn't know, all these states except Oregon voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004.

The third maps out the twenty states with the highest amount of violent crime in 2004 (the newest I could find). Of these, 14 voted for Bush in 2004, and 13 voted for him in 2000. PS, I made the map myself.

EDIT: The fourth map is the twenty least healthy states, as ranked by the UHF in 2008. Big surprise here: all but two of these states voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004. The information used to gather the statistics here are nauseating; they take into account prevalence of smoking, binge drinking, obesity, high school graduation, violent crime (where were you an hour ago? SHIT), occupational fatalities, children in poverty, infectious disease, air pollution, lack of health insurance, public health funding, immunization coverage, primary care physicians, preventable hospitalizations, poor mental/physical health days, infant mortality, cardiovascular deaths, cancer death, and premature death. In case you wanted to know, Louisiana is #1, Mississippi is #2, and South Carolina is #3 overall. You can read the statistics on every one of these categories by downloading the report.

So, basically what I'm saying is that red states are hellish because they are, in fact, red states. Republicans are keeping us down.
If you have anything else that might relate to this subject, please send it to me. I need fuel for my Republican rage machine.

More broadband porn bought in red states than blue states

Here's a big surprise: Conservatives are leading the way in their own definition of immoral behavior.
In the Benjamin Edelman article, "Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?" in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, it is found that the states that consume the most broadband porn are, in fact, red states.
On this map from the text, the darker the color, the more porn consumed. As you can see, Arkansas (whoop), Louisiana (whoop whoop), Oklahoma, Florida, and North Dakota (all states that [technically] voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004) bought more porn per 1000 broadband households than any other state except for Hawaii (exception to the norm; voted Kerry 54%), Mississippi (60% for Bush in 2004), Alaska (61% for Bush in 2004) and the #1 porn-consuming state, Utah (the most Conservative state in the union, voting for Bush at 72% in 2004).

How many of these sort of things do we have to see until radical Conservatives see that THEY are the downfall of society, not us.
I'll show the other two related articles I remember in the next post. Gimme a minute.

EDIT: I almost forgot about this part: the average porn consumption is 2.7 to 2.9 per 1000 broadband households. (The least state is 1.92, okay. Utah is at 5.47). BUT HERE'S THE KICKER: The porn correlation between those who responded "yes" to "I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage" is 3.6 AND "AIDS might be God's punishment for immoral sexual behavior" is 3.56, both MUCH over the average!

Depeche Mode - "Wrong"

The song isn't great, but the video is awesome!

RIVERFEST IN LR IS GONNA BE THA SHIT (Wille Nelson just signed on)!!

HOLY SHIT! I thought that the B-52s coming was just the coolest thing Little Rock has seen in the past bazillion years of Riverfest, but it turns out that FUCKING WILLIE NELSON just signed on the other day! Who else is going?

May 22-24, 2009

26 February 2009

The Blue Note Seven (feat. Ravi Coltrane)

Saw them tonight. Exceptional talent.

William Kentridge - History of the Main Complaint (1996)

This is an art video I enjoyed very much exhibited at the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Chicago.


I just got back from Chicago, and lordie, it was fun!
While there, I ate a whole bunch, went to a vintage clothing store (bought a $3 cardigan), went to a record shop (bought an original of X's "More Fun in the New World" for $6), went to the Museum of Contemporary Art, saw bluetiful Lake Michigan, went to a bar with a bazillion beers on tap (none of them good), went to a blues bar, saw the giant mirror bean downtown, made a snowman (and aborted it) (did I mention it SNOWED ON MY BDAY! YAY!), ate the world's best chocolate (yeah right), made a giant batch of soup, saw Tim Meadows' stand-up (AND MET HIM!), and Jesus I'm forgetting a big event, but OMGSOFUN!
I loved seeing Erich, Edmond, and Kristen in Chicago. I'll prolly do it again.

18 February 2009

New Bob Dylan album in April!


Yep, Uncut reports that he's making a new album of original material due in April! I hope it's better than the last one, but let's be honest, I'll buy it regardless.
You know what this means?
BOB DYLAN TOUR TO HYPE THE ALBUM! Maybe I will get to see him before he dies...

Racist or Racially Insensitive/Ignorant?

This cartoon was published in the conservative New York Post.

Here's the backstory: Some domesticated chimpanzee in Stamford, CT, had lyme disease, went crazy, and attacked his (human) next-door neighbor. The cops were called (after his owner stabbed him) and shot him to death.
So, here's the question: Was Sean Delonas being a racist by comparing President Obama to a monkey, or was he just completely insensitive to the notion that perhaps people would take it that way? Surely he could've figured out that people would respond negatively, right? And the paper's editors didn't say anything about it? Smells fishy to me, but I'll let you decide.

The first article I've ever read that criticizes Bobby Jindal

Courtesy of the Daily Reveille and Matthew Albright:

"Nietzsche Is Dead: Jindal has prospects — but he’s still our governor
Matthew Albright
Published: Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It is now common knowledge among those who follow politics that our governor’s future looks bright.
Republicans have tapped Gov. Bobby Jindal to give the party response to President Barack Obama’s upcoming address to a joint session of Congress.
By choosing Jindal, the party is essentially putting him on the short list of Republican leaders. The choice is another in a long line of very public and high-profile visits the governor has made that indicate in no uncertain terms that he has national aspirations.
Jindal is considered by many to be one of the most viable candidates to challenge the Democrats in either 2012 or 2016, depending upon how well Obama does as president.
Writers everywhere are already dissecting his viability as a candidate, claiming he is best suited to reform the Republican image and lead it back to competitiveness.
They tout his youth and race as attributes Republicans have lacked entirely. They cite his excellent educational background and eloquence. They point to his strong health care background, lending expertise to an issue generally considered a Republican weakness.
They talk about so many reasons he’s a good candidate for president they forget he still has a job to do.
Namely, running our state.
In focusing so heavily on his national prospects, Jindal risks taking his eye off the ball. His strongest supporters repeatedly claim if he’s able to make progress in a state as historically averse to change as Louisiana, he’ll be the perfect candidate for president.
Of course, that assumes Jindal achieves success in Louisiana. He still has work to do before making that claim.
So far, Jindal’s only major accomplishments are the ethics reforms and his response to Hurricane Gustav. His most fervent supporters claim these are already leaps and strides above the norm.
While passing an ethics reform bill in Louisiana sounds good, the reforms were by no means universally applauded and were not by any stretch of the imagination entirely comprehensive. The Public Affairs Research Council, among others, indicated the reforms may actually make it more difficult to prosecute violators.
The bill also entirely ignored finance reform, which is convenient, considering Jindal and his party’s propensity for accepting large amounts of funds from monolithic corporations.
Likewise, the administration’s response to Gustav is not nearly the achievement some might claim. Besides the obvious difference in scale — Katrina was a different animal entirely — Jindal’s administration had the tremendous benefit of hindsight.
Even if we accept the significance of these achievements, Jindal still has little else to his credit.
For example, much has been made of his health care experience and ability to talk about the issue fluently.
But talk – and hype – is cheap. Jindal has done little for Louisiana’s health care system. In this respect, the state is actually rated lower now than it was before he took office. And let’s not forget the bungled handling of the legislative pay increase – hardly the signature of an astute politician.
This doesn’t necessarily make Jindal a bad governor. He just hasn’t proved himself the policy genius his supporters claim – yet.
Before Jindal begins swinging for the political fences, he must work on his average. And we in Louisiana need to be his batting coach.
We need to watch carefully as he leads us into the coming budget cuts — we need to congratulate him when he succeeds, but we also have to criticize him when he strikes out.
It would be wonderful to have a Louisianian in the White House. But first we have to make sure he does his job at home."

He forgot to mention this.

Happy Birthday, Toni Morrison/Miss you, Dale Earnhardt

It's Toni Morrison's 78th birthday today! Morrison wrote two of the greatest books of all time, Sula and Beloved. Toni Morrison is my favorite author, and I give her my love on her special day.

But no good news comes without bad news. This date is the date that Dale Earnhardt (may the lord bless his [own] name) died in a tragic racing accident. He gave many-a-confederate intense amounts of joy; therefore, the great mustache on divinity personified will not go uninscribed in the book of life. And so I say from the top of my number 3 decal to the soles of my shoes, may his Son continue to carry on in his holy racing legacy. In the name of the father, son, and the holy Dale, he shall be missed. Amen. Rest in threace, Intimidator.
Harry Caray died this day, too. This is my Tishb'Av.

16 February 2009

Awww....HELL YEAH! (666)

Here's what my Last.fm account reads.

Happy Birthday, LaVar Burton!

The masterful actor and all around great guy who starred in "Roots," "Star Trek: TNG," and "Reading Rainbow" enjoyed his 51st birthday today. Happy Birthday, LaVar!
PS, I just found out that LaVardis (real name) was the voice of Kwame in Captain Planet! HOLY SHIT!

11 February 2009

50 Birthdays

So I just looked up 50 cool and interesting/ironically hilarious celebrities' birthdays. I am going to start posting when it's their birthday/death anniversary.
Just FYI, there isn't a single June birthday. What the fuck?! It's a new prejudice. Hey, JUUUUUNIE. Happy fuckin birthday.

08 February 2009

Famke Janssen Spotted at Highland Coffees!

It's totally true. I was told that Janssen (from X-Men, Nip/Tuck, GoldenEye. DUH!) was possibly seen at Highland Coffees for 2 Saturdays in a row, and then I found out it's true! This article says she's in a movie called "The Chameleon" that is filming in BATON ROUGE!! More specifically, I hear it's filming on Myrtle Street. OMG, WHAT IF I SAW FAMKE JANSSEN?!?!?!

Lux Interior Tribute by John Robb

John Robb wrote "Punk Rock: An Oral History". Not a very interesting book, but I do like his dedication to punk and his love of the Cramps. Here's his tribute to Lux Interior (see, I told you I'd find one):

"...Well when I die don't you bury me at all,
Just nail my bones up on the wall,
Beneath these bones let these words be seen,
"This is the bloody gears of a boppin' machine...'

Thus sang Lux Interior on 'Rockin' Bones' from the Cramps second album, the LSD laced swampy psychobilly of Psychedelic Jungle. With that song Interior, who died on Wednesday aged 62, had perfectly written his own epitaph. One of the wildest frontmen ever, Interior and delicious Poison Ivy (his wife of 37 years) were the premier couple in any kind of music with 'Billy on the end.

Put simply: If you don't like the Cramps you don't get rock ‘n’ roll, it's as simple as that.

Stunningly original, the Cramps were put together in the mid 70s after Interior picked Ivy up hitch hiking. The pair bonded over spooked psychobilly, early rock & roll, garage rock, weird psychedelic and any other music with psych in its title and added a dose of hiccoughing bizarre country and b-movie suss, creating a whole new sound that was a combination of demonic howling feedback that you could get lost in, primal drums and strange spooked surf licks topped with Interior's amazing vocal. This was not merely gruff shouting, but a ghoulish baritone - a voice that was perfect, an Elvis from hell - John Peel once said Interior had one of the finest singing voices he had ever heard.

Live, Poison Ivy would stand rooted to the spot, scowling as she played brutally effective guitar parts. She duelled with second guitarist Bryan Gregory, a man with what looked like half a face and a switchblade scowl sneering from under a strange lank one foot long semi fringe. With underground punk legend Nick Knox on drums laying down the jungle psychobilly clomp the band were the perfect backdrop against which Interior could to play out his own unique psychodrama. The liquorice-lace thin frontman looked suitably ghoulish as he tore the stage apart with his Iggy-flavoured moves - he was simply one of the greats.

Always one of my favourite bands, I remember how terrifying Cramps early releases seemed. There was no hint of the humour that would lace their later work. Their debut Songs That The Lord Taught Us was a nightmare world of feedback-drenched oddness produced by Alex Chilton to create a psychodrama all of its own. We used to look at the band's picture on the sleeve and wonder at how perfectly it matched the music. We wondered how you could get as fucked up and weird looking as these people. They looked like they had lived a bit - and had lived in another universe at that - but one that was as glamorous and sexy as it was dark and dangerous.

At the same time a young Morrissey must have been thinking the same, for the Cramps were fast becoming one of his muses. Other unlikely fans included Minor Threat's Ian MacKaye and his best pal Henry Rollins, both of whom were turned onto punk rock by a righteous Cramps gig in Washington DC in the late 70s. Years later the White Stripes would carry a distant echo of the Cramps voodoo-billy to the top of the charts. Every tattooed high street fifties-wardrobed wannabe you see only exist because Lux and Poison Ivy could walk it like they talked it.

They may never have been quite as scary again after that freakish debut, but the follow up Psychedelic Jungle (now with the louche Kid Congo replacing the erratic Gregory on guitar) was another genius record - splicing a genuine spirit of the maverick 50s underground with the dark side of LSD and a genius understanding of the possibilities of post punk. This threading all of so many strands of maverick music into one seamless whole made for an underrated record that still sounds utterly timeless - we urge The Reader to get hold of it now.

After this endless different line-ups would form around the perfect couple. The result was records that were less weird but never less than captivating, such as Smell Of Female. The Cramps became a bubblegum version of themselves but it was great bubblegum and with a record collection as sharply observed as Lux Interior's there was always going to be inspiration. He was a pop culture freak who was quoting Russ Meyer before anyone else knew who he was and turning a whole generation onto the weird and wonderful backwoods music made by psychopaths with what sounded like chainsaws for guitars. Interior was a gentle softy spoken highly intelligent articulate man who was like a lanky curator of a museum stuffed full of strange shaped skulls, stranger records and even stranger ideas. He was a man who implicitly understood the purity and beauty of rock ‘n’ roll and performed it perfectly. In the super hip know-it-all 21st century it's going to be harder and harder to find people with his genius. The genuine article has gone - Lux Interior has left the building...

Rest in peace Lux, wherever the fuck you are!"

PS, doesn't John Robb look like a total badass in this picture?

04 February 2009

Tiny Hands

Lux Interior of the Cramps Died Today

One of the greatest punk bands, the Cramps, lost their badass frontman, Lux Interior today of complications from a heart condition. I am among many that will miss him.
If I can find a good enough tribute, I'll post it asap.

Guess What I Found in my Light

These are pictures of what I discovered when I was changing the overhead light in my apartment.

If you're unclear what they are...

it's a giant lizard.

I just found deep-fried Godzilla while changing a light bulb.
Ain't he cute?

PS, in case you were wondering, yes, I did leave him there and put the fixture back on the ceiling.

02 February 2009

Good thing I wasn't still wearing my 3D glasses from those commercials

I dunno how many people have seen this already, but let's be honest; no one reads this anyway. What an incredible waste of time!

What's one more gonna hurt?

01 February 2009

When Professional Cakes Go Horribly Wrong

If you're noticing that these mohawked, naked babies are riding carrots on top of what seems to be a cake, you are absolutely correct on all accounts.
Here's a website about fucked up specialty cakes: