Friday, July 03, 2009

Ready to Rock

Two weeks and one day.

Antsy? Hell yeah. Excited? Hell yeah. Nervous? A little, would be lying if I said I wasn't.

Bemused? After a few recent events, yes, most assuredly. I learned a lot about a fellow musician's true nature today. It'll be interesting to see if he comes to the show or not. I'm indifferent either way, really. I neither need nor desire his approval of what we do. Honestly, if he's going to make that much of an issue of it, it's not worth it in the end.

All in all, though, I'm really looking forward to the whole night overall. It'll be interesting to see - out of all those people who've said they'd come - who actually does show up, how many people in general show up, and what kind of crowd it will be. We're all hoping for a big one, of course.

What's really going to set that weekend off, though, is Friday night. My friend TT is a part of fellow local rockers Rapid Fire, and we have a mutual acquaintance of sorts. They've invited me to their show Friday night to sing a song (what one, I don't know). Whether this mutual "friend" shows up or not, it doesn't really matter. It's about the rock, and these boys know how! It'll be awesome to share a stage with them!

So what does this mean for the rest of the world? Not much. I just needed to get some of that out so I can stop thinking about it and relax. I'm going to see Candlelight Red tonight, and you know what?

I might actually have a date. Who knew, right?!?

In the meantime, though, I have a truck to clean out and some laundry to do...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Evil of the Thriller

I know I said some pretty nasty things about Michael Jackson the other day. I still stand by them, in fact. But when you separate the music from the personal life, there's still a bright spot. Let's face it: Jacko wrote some pretty fucking good songs.

And now is one of the fruits of his inspiration. This was actually released in October of last year, but now that Jacko is gone, I figure it's a fun way to say hey, I'm not all negative about the Gloved One. Enjoy: 64 a a'cappella tracks, no instruments: Just one man, his voice, a web cam and some creative editing!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Hollywood is Dying

It's been a bad two weeks - and overall, a bad two years - for Hollywood.

Bea Arthur. Ed McMahon. Farrah Fawcett. Michael Jackson. Billy Mays.

And today, the death of legendary supporting man Karl Malden. And that's just halfway through 2009. Thank [insert deity here] that Abe Vigoda is still alive.

The tragic loss of Heath Ledger. The passing of Star Trek Matriarch Majel Barrett-Roddenberry. King of Comedy Bernie Mac, entirely too soon. Marlon Brando's son Christian, killer though he was convicted as. Brad Renfro, sadly of the juice.

I really don't want to spend all day hunting down all of these people on Wikipedia, but there are many, many more to add to that list. All big names. Some old, some unfortunately young.

And with them is going the industry that made them all famous in one way or another. Hollywood itself, like the stars that seem to shine for such a short time in its limelight, is dying.

Years of rampant corporate consolidation has taken what was once a mecca of high-art and creative exposition into a watered-down, purely commercial cesspool of crap, with the occasional bright spot.

We have hacks like Michael Bay, who's taken a franchise that I love and turned it into a barely recognizable General Motors/Chevy commercial, full of nothing but the banal eye candy of special effects and explosions.

Don't get me wrong, I like special effects and explosions. But I also like my Transformers Generation One compatible. Let's get over ourselves already, people: Megatron is a HAND GUN. Wah fucking wah. And not having Frank Welker provide his voice alongside Peter Cullen's Optimus Prime is blasphemy. And I remember a time when Transformers told a pretty boss story. Why they had to deviate from that (yet again, like so many rip-off TV evolitions) is beyond me.

We're flooded with sequel after sequel after sequel. While some movies, like the Harry Potter adaptations, have no choice but to use multiple sequels to tell the full story, most are just made to cash in on the successful first movie. If that cash-in is worth anything during any sub-sequent release, more will ultimately be made.

Shrek Forever After (once called Shrek Goes Fourth) is coming soon. Oh yes, a fourth one. The first two were funny as hell, but the third kinda drug its feet. The only thing I hope it does is encourage Justin Timberlake to quit music and get into comedy acting, because he's honestly one very funny motherfucker. I am holding hope, though, since the plot sounds fairly cool, and Sir Paul McCartney is voicing a character as well.

Here are some sequels that absolutely ruined great original movies:

The Neverending Story II and III - What. The. FUCK?!? There is absolutely no reason for the Rock Biter to sing Born to be Wild. That is all I have to say. Avoid these like the plague. The only bright spot is a then-unknown Jack Black in III, but even that can't save it.

Any Direct-to-DVD Disney Animated Feature sequel - If you create one masterpiece, then you leave it alone. If you can't get the original voice actors back, there's no point. There are only so many songs that can be written about any given subject. Please, Disney. STOP.

Ace Ventura Jr. Pet Detective - Oh yes, this one exists, and many of your children have seen this flaming turd on Cartoon Network. The sequel to the only real sequel Jim Carey has ever consented to do. It's so bad, it went straight to air on Cartoon Network and hasn't even hit DVD that I know of as of this post.

Austin Powers: Goldmember - OK, the second one was good, but it obviously slowed down from the first. Meyers should have stopped there, because the third one was just reaching, grasping at straws, whatever clichè you want to use for the well running dry.

There are entirely too many remakes being made as well, of both old films and film versions of old TV shows. Starsky and Hutch, Charlie's Angels, The Italian Job, The Brady Bunch, Land of the Lost, Lost in Space, The Day the Earth Stood Still...

All illustrates one giant, gaping flaw in the current Hollywood design: They're just plain out of ideas.

And so they keep going back to the well, even though it's bone dry, and still they managed to somehow pack theaters with mindless junk. Even though - for now - the money's coming in, time is still running out.

They can't keep this up for much longer. More and more big-budget films bomb. And as drugs, age, and accidents continue to claim its marquee stars, it's losing it's second greatest asset.

Their greatest asset? Writers, and for some reason, they're actively shunning the really good ones by shelving their products or seeing no marketable hook/catch that they can make a mint off of.

It's no longer about producing good cinema. And when cinema isn't good, the industry's healt isn't good, either. Hollywood is dying, and only it can save itself.

But like the rest of the corporate world, it's a slave to the almighty bottom line, servants of shareholders who care nothing for anything but profit.

And as Hollywood goes, so follows America...

Monday, June 29, 2009

That Was It - Michael Jackson 1958-2009

If you're coming here to see a heartfelt tribute to Michael Jackson, you might want to turn around now. I won't be saying anything nice about the King of Pop, that's for damned sure. I'm positive that you'll find the solace you seek by turning on the absolutely disgusting wall-to-wall Jacko coverage on any of the 24 hour cable news networks, and also FAUX News.

And now, the absolute truth about Michael Jackson's death:

Although the tox report won't be back for 6 or 8 weeks, it's not hard to figure out what killed the iconic performer. His personal physician did what everyone else has done for this man all his life: Gave in to his begging and pleading to end the pain. In this case, the relief Michael begged for came in the form of what has been reported to be a rather larger-than-normal dose of Demerol, a high-powered pain killer.

Sometime after this shot, Michael's body shut down and his heart went into cardiac arrest, commonly known as a heart attack.

It's been reported that his personal physician tried to revivie Michael himself, failing and having someone call 911 instead. This attempt at resuscitation probably took about two or three minutes before the decision was made to call for help. The call itself lasted about a minute, minute and a half. To be fair, we'll only add one minute to the tally.

Total time since collapse so far, at least 4 Minutes.

Reports state that it took approximately 3 minutes for Rescue Vehicle 71 to reach the rented mansion. Add another minute for them to back in, unload, and actually reach whatever room Jackson was in.

Total time since collapse so far, at least 8 Minutes. That's 8 minutes that Jackson hasn't been breathing, and his heart hasn't been pumping blood throughout his system, including the brain.

The paramedics tried to revive Jackson at his home just after they arrived. Given that these are highly trained professionals, they wouldn't have tried very long before determining that the patient would need to be immediately taken to the hospital. That said, they probably tried for around two minutes, and then took another two minutes to load him into the waiting work bay of Rescue Vehicle 71.

Total time since collapse so far, at least 12 Minutes.

It was reported that the ride to UCLA Med took approximately 7 minutes, during which time the paramedics continually tried to revive Jackson.

Total time, at least 19 Minutes.

Once at UCLA Med, the staff there tried for well over an hour to revive Jackson, to no avail. They pronounced him dead at just after 2pm PST.

Total time, at least 1 Hour and 20 Minutes.

According to WikiAnswers, the human brain can survive about five or six minutes without fresh oxygen, at which point irreversable brain damage begins. At around 9 or 10 minutes, the brain is essentially dead.

Jackson's true time of death was, at most, 11 minutes after his initial collapse. He was dead before Paramedics could even get into full swing.

Everything after that was a hopeless waste of time. Had they succeeded in reviving Jackson, he would have been a vegetable.

And that would have been just another Freakshow trait for him. He was spared that humiliation, though.

So for all of you people who want to say that the medical teams were in any way "Valliant" or "Gave it their best," save it. Everything they did was for nothing. Had they succeeded, they would have turned it into something much worse than just another death.

Oh yeah, I'm just getting warmed up.

Michael Jackson killed Michael Jackson.

As a child, he couldn't handle his brothers' teasing, and that was made worse by his abusive father Joseph. Instead of standing up to these demons, Michael repressed them. It was the taunting that would lead to his Parade of Freak Noses.

Having been an entertainer since the age of nine, Jackson pretty much had no childhood to speak of. Sadly, though, he didn't quite grow up throughout the whole process. Even into his adulthood, he held an unhealthy devotion to what some folks call Peter Pan Syndrome: A person refuses to believe that he or she is growing up, and still act as though they're an innocent child.

But Michael didn't act like an innocent child, did he. Oh no. Acquittal or not, people still think he did it. And who's to say otherwise? A jury? Fuck no. The Court of Public Opinion is what convicted him. He allowed this pressure to further debilitate his mental state.

All his life, due to his celebrity and fortune, he was surrounded by people who gave him whatever he wanted. This culture led to Michael's addiction to painkillers and other scrip drugs, since people would just cowtow and get them for him at his whimsy. Nobody stood up and said "Enough." Nobody stopped him. And he chose to surround himself with these people.

He estranged himself from his family at different times for different reasons, pretty much destroying the only real support system he had left amidst the Neverland Fantasy world he built for himself.

He blew hundreds of millions of dollars on what amounted to pointless impulse buys, pretty much because he could, and noone told him he couldn't.

At any point throughout all of this, Michael Jackson could have chosen to end the fantasy and come back to reality. At any time, he could have stopped the culture around him that was destroying his life. At any time, Jackson could have simply walked away and taken time to heal himself, instead of the rest of the world at the expense of his own life.

But he chose the path that led to his death.

It wasn't untimely. It was right on schedule, in fact. Michael Jackson was a bomb waiting to explode, and the fuse finally burned down to its bitter last.

And he died beyond help, because he refused to ever get the right kind of help.

The only person who's really to blame is the Freakshow known as Michael Jackson.

Now, don't get me wrong. Michael's career as an entertainer - when looked at completely on its own - is undisputed. He was probably the greatest entertainer in all of recorded history. His cultural impact was global.That will never be taken away from him.

But face facts: He was an absolute freak who did nothing to help himself save his own life.

Don't feel sorry for Michael Jackson. Hopefully, the lesson he failed to learn will teach the rest of you before its too late and you die early of self-loathing and absolute self-neglect.

Michael Jackson deserved to die. Michael Jackson killed Michael Jackson. Think about it: From "Bad" on, we watched him go from handsom black musician to deathly white freak corpse. You can't say you didn't see this coming...