March 31, 2007

The Downward Spiral of Lies

Went to see a sneak preview of The Hoax, a new film about the Clifford Irving / Howard Hughes scandal of the early 1970s.

There's a peculiarly unpleasant sense of dread that I always pick up while watching movies like this, usually about a third of the way through. It's unpleasant and stressful in a way that's quite unlike experiencing a suspense film. In movies about lies and the complete loss of integrity, you realize the protagonist(s) are actually unpleasant people and seemingly beyond redemption. They're doomed, trapped in a downward spiral of lies that only gets worse as they lie their way out of one scrape only to get into a worse one. Ugh.

Shattered Glass, the film about the reporter at the New Republic who turned out to have fabricated many of his published articles, produced a exactly the same kind of feeling when I saw that in a theatre. I've never rented the DVD. Owning Mahoney is another film I'd put in this catagory -- things just keep getting worse and worse for the main character, who is clearly lost.

Thelma and Louise, not quite the same kind of film, but it's another one that I simply can't stand to watch anymore -- stupid characters making stupid mistakes one after the other, each one making their situation worse than it was, and ultimately, the car goes over the proverbial cliff. The frequent scenes in The Hoax of Richard Gere and Alfred Molina driving around in a convertible started reminding me of Thelma and Louise.

I could not help reflect on the situation this country finds itself in with the current administration in the White House, on the one hand, and the news media on the other hand. I can only contemplate the profound lack of integrity amongst the Bush/Cheney/Rove crew for so long, before feeling that same sense of dread that I pick up from movies like The Hoax. But I keep shaking my head wondering why did the media lose its integrity, too? There are still some shining lights here and there, reporters courageous enough to still seek, and tell as best they can, the truth as they see it.

Remember the Star Trek episode where Kirk and landing party accidentally get beamed onto another Enterprise in parallel universe, where Spock has a beard and the crew are treacherous villains? The Bush Administraton always reminds me of that episode -- somehow the U.S. has beamed into a parallel universe utterly opposite to the kind of White House depicted in, say, The West Wing. (It's no surprise to me that that series came to an end. Who could stomach one hour of that fantasy each week, what with the lies, scandals, hypocrisy, and depravity coming to light each day in the real world?)

I kept thinking about the Bush administration while watching The Hoax. The spectacular house of cards Bush and company have built, lies built upon lies built upon lies, any shreds of integrity burned up long ago if indeed they ever existed. One can't help but wonder how long the charade can go on: we laugh at it thanks to regular doses of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, but really, how long can it go on?

There goes that unpleasant feeling again.

Posted by brian at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2007

CNN's Choices

There have been articles around the web lately about how TIME and Newsweek frequently use one magazine cover for their international editions, and another one for their U.S. editions. The U.S. editions in these cases often downplay some major story, or, doesn't even mention it.

I noticed this week that CNN's been pulling the same trick.

Note the difference between the US edition and the International edition of the CNN homepage lead story.

I find it particularly interesting that the U.S. editions are aimed to create as much symphathy as possible for the plight of the woman sailor, whereas in the international editions, we get a different picture.

UPDATE:

Ah, they're at it again:

Posted by brian at 08:20 AM | Comments (1)

March 23, 2007

Underwater

When I read about places like this, I wonder why nobody ever seems to have the same concerns about places like this.

Posted by brian at 03:59 PM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2007

Rad Monkey Electric Cowbells

"The Rad MonkeyTM VLC800, the world's first digital modelling cowbell! Onboard DSP accurately models 12 of the world's most sought after cowbells. Hold a world class cowbell collection in the palm of your hand!"

I've been doing a lot of music/sound recording research lately and this parody site really nails what the ads look like these days in Mix, Electronic Musician, etc.

But what's really interesting is that this parody apparently comes from Kevin Ryan, the same guy who did the Bob Dylan / Dr. Seuss parody I mentioned recently.

But what's even more interesting is that Kevin Ryan is co-author of the amazing $100 book Recording the Beatles, which I recently splurged on. It's not every day one buys a $100 book, but this 500+ page coffee table illustrated epic will keep this Beatlemaniac enthralled learning all the ins and outs of how the Beatles made their recordings. A stupendous achievement. If you're into recording, music, and the Beatles, then you MUST buy this book.

Entertainment Weekly recently broke the news that Ryan was the Dylan-sings-Seuss creator. It all makes sense -- considering the amazingly accurate sound he was able to create in the recording studio. No doubt using 60s-era equipment throughout (not a digital cowbell in sight).

p.s. be sure not to miss the Virtual Studio Visitor plugin for ProTools!

Posted by brian at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2007

Arctic Monkeys Tribute to This Blog!

Arctic Monkeys have a new song out.... called "Brianstorm"! Hey! Where have I heard that name before?

Thanks to Andy for pointing this out.

p.s. check out the lyrics :-)

p.p.s. Here's another "video":

Geez, who knows which is the official video, there are so many....

Posted by brian at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

The Dark Side of Enterprise

I'm trying to reconcile this with this.

All I'm coming up with is, "actions speak louder than words."

Posted by brian at 06:47 AM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2007

Dylan Hears a Who

Amazingly Dylan-like recordings:

Dylan (or someone who sounds very much like him circa the Blonde on Blonde era) singing Dr. Seuss lyrics!

Go listen for yourself: dylanhearsawho.com

My favorite: The epic-length The Cat in the Hat.

Posted by brian at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2007

More and more artists embracing Eventful Demand

Years ago I discovered the High Llamas as a result of being a long-time Stereolab fan. I'd love to see 'em play live again, particularly now that they have a new album out.

It's a thrill to see an Eventful link right on the High Llamas' home page ("Want the High Llamas to play in your town? Let them know via Eventful!"):

Also: Ben Folds now has a Demand sticker up on his Myspace page, and the demands are rolling in. So cool!

Posted by brian at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)
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