Beards vs. brains: Zombie shark jumps zombie zombies.

"When it comes to an ironic re-creation of an iconic photo, my commitment to my beard trumps my commitment to my zombie schtick. It's all about priorities, man."

“When it comes to an ironic re-creation of an iconic photo, my commitment to my beard trumps my commitment to my zombie schtick. You have to weigh your priorities, man.”

Hey, guys! So, can we all agree that the whole zombie thing has run its course and file it away in the attic next to the pirate stuff?* Solid.

I mean, I know Halloween is coming and I’m not trying to be all Captain Bringdown, but for reals, yo: Superhero zombies? Meh, fine; whatever. Kinda lame and blandly opportunistic, but par for the course.

But when Archie and Jughead and the gang show up at the party (via the Today show, guys?), it’s a hint that the party might actually have moved over to Applebee’s.

…Check, please?

* Being sure to leave a space for the box of beard combs, mustache wax and vests.

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Critic vs. Nihilist: Setting the Stage

For reference, re: where the below conversation began. My 2010 year-end musical “wrap-up” for the Boston Phoenix. Review at your leisure; strictly optional.

12:44 PM Dan: You may be confused – I don’t think 1337 5P3@K overlaps with texting so much

12:45 PM me: Meh; it’s all the province of The Kids, to me (which I realize is not accurate, but my giving-a-rat’s-ass circuits can only handle so much these days)

Dan: I IMPLORE YOU TO GIVE A RATS ASS

me: TAKE A NUMBER

Dan: (no I don’t)

12:46 PM “Vampire Weekend? Fuck off”

me: “Well, at least someone finally said it.”

Dan: “uncredentialed opinion-havers (‘sup, bloggers)”

12:47 PM me: credibility is dying on the vine here people

Dan: ANDREW GRAHAM HAS BEEN WRONGED

12:48 PM me: heh heh heh—that’s not my message here.

I’m sticking up for society as a whole & music in particular.

my rat’s ass! my precious rat’s ass!

12:50 PM Dan: I still find your love for “credentials” perplexing

me: internet populism is a mixed blessing, at best, I feel.

12:51 PM I do believe that a filter of some kind still merits preserving

12:53 PM Dan: right, but a filter based on whose standards? Good writing or interesting perspectives are more important to me than whether or not the New Yorker thinks the person is “credentialed”

12:54 PM me: absolutely; but the “good writing and interesting perspectives” wheat don’t automatically stand out in & of themselves, from the vastly disproportionate levels of chaff out there—

12:55 PM Dan: and that’s where the Phoenix comes in?

me: so I’m not saying a source has to be credentialed by the New Yorker for validity—I’m saying that a source that serves as an umbrella for content, with a clearly perceptible mission/philosophy/purpose behind it—

or even just evident competence in the category/subject matter—

12:56 PM is more appealing to me than the idea of sifting through pages of google search results, etc.

I’m not voting to shut anything down—I just wish the internet &/or presences that inhabit it would step up a little—

accountability, accracy, etc.

12:57 PM (um, “accuracy.”)

(etc.)

Dan: So it’s more of a Protestant work ethic kind of thing?

12:58 PM me: could be… I guess, just not letting “quality” &/or “attention to facts” just passively slip by the wayside in favor of “hey! I have a thought! I have a web connection!”

12:59 PM Like, for example—this stuck in my mind enough that I was able to track it down by the use of a word I found to be so inaccurate that it really bugged me: http://drownedinsound.com/releases/15697/reviews/4141115

1:00 PM *quote:* “Let’s take ‘I Don’t Feel’ for starters. It kicks off like an enraged Tina Turner fronting Huey Lewis and The News: “I hear the footsteps drop and I knock on the doooooor!” she cries, in what is honestly the most vulgar opening five seconds of any song I’ve ever heard in my life.”

1:01 PM Fact 1: Those lyrics are not the actual lyrics; clearly the reviewer listened to them only once, or on a crappy system/pair of headphones. But there they are, representing the song/artist/album.

Fact 2: Either this writer does not know what “vulgar” means, or s/he is a puritan who shouldn’t be writing about non-classical music.

1:02 PM Because there is nothing whatsoever “vulgar” about any part of the song being described, from the first five seconds to the rest of it.

1:03 PM So: Who’s in charge here? It’s the double-edged sword; everyone can do it, so everyone does. Everyone wants to be in the spotlight (the byline, the voice); nobody wants to do the boring stuff (the editing, the fact-checking), etc.

1:04 PM Being right/accurate/factual is SOOOO BORING compared to being awesome & having people listen to you. So what’s the web going to look like when facts & other boring stuff start to disappear & wikipedia is more awesome than any stupid old encyclopedia?

ET

CETERA

just saying.

Dan: perplexing

reviewers, media, and the masses have been wrong and inaccurate about nearly everything since forever

1:05 PM internet is just the new medium.

me: true—but I’m talking about raw numbers going up across the board, in terms of content—

Dan: I remember a Reader’s Digest article I read in 6th grade that purported to contains shocking Black Sabbath lyrics

1:06 PM me: while “credible sources” (newspapers & other outlets with at least an on-paper commitment to truth, accuracy, etc.) disappearing in the landslide.

Dan: They were absolutely factually incorrect, and formed the basis for the commentary that was the remainder of the article

1:07 PM me: Right, exactly—imagine that, times every blogger or web commenter or wikipedia “editor” with an idea or thought

Dan: Similar laments were probably heard when Steve Gutenberg invented the printing press

me: (or an agenda)

Dan: and ultimately, what’s your beef? That the masses will be misled?

1:08 PM fuck them anyway

me: who do you write a “letter to the editor” to, to complain about a wrongly-reported incident or factual error, when there’s no editor?

Dan: you don’t, you send an email to the writer

me: well, yeah—that’s basically it; “history” (as accurately as it can be managed to do so) is worth preserving.

Dan: perception is reality

1:09 PM me: right—the writer—the “uncredentialed” person with no responsibility or obligation to correct anything, as opposed to the representative of an organization with accountability as part of its basis for existence.

1:10 PM I realize that I’m championing a set of corporate entities like newspapers, etc., here—but it’s the concept underlying them that I still feel has merit, however the execution goes down.

Dan: this is my whole point—the credentials and the basis of accountability is meaningless

me: but it shouldn’t be, is my point—

Dan: GOING TO EAT LUNCH PEACE OUT

me: just giving up on the idea of preserving facts & accuracy because there’s no reliable precedent (arguably) is…

a big mistake.

1:11 PM HAVE A GOOD LUNCH PEACE

As a standard-issue white guy, instead of saying the n-word—

I like to say “neighbor.”

In all seriousness, I genuinely like the way this takes a word that—in its original, racist/pejorative sense—intentionally divides/isolates (via its connotations of inferiority), and, through a convenient phonetic overlap, transforms both the word and its meaning into a concept overtly based in community/inclusivity (via its connotations of equality). Whether referring to a ghetto ‘hood, a rural town just down the road or a suburban development in between, neighbor is a word that’s implicitly inclusive, as opposed to being explicitly exclusive. What’s not to like?

(Note: This applies to the o.g. n-word [assigned] and its modern-era affiliate that ends in “a” [appropriated]. Why not make a distinction between these two? Well, primarily because it’s not my role or my right. If other white folks feel cool saying “nigga,” that’s on them; just don’t do it around me, please.)

Now, to be clear: I don’t throw “neighbor” around all the time. It’s only when I’m, say, in the car, rapping along with Ghostface or Trina or Slim Thug or Eightball or whoever, or when I’m quoting someone who’s used the n-word in a more “authentic” sense (by which, sure, I do mean, “urban”).

So, Ice Cube is the wrong neighbor to fuck with. But he’s also the neighbor you love to hate. (Get your head around that.) And of course, there’s NWA—Neighbors With Attitude. Don’t want to live next door to those guys, am I right?

Of course, as my friend Ritch observed, this does give Mr. Rogers a whole new dimension.

Not that you asked, but yes, I have other examples.

Wu-Tang Clan
Shame on a neighbor who try to run game on a neighbor.

Ghostface Killah
What I did was wack, but you ain’t get a neighbor back like that.

Lil’ Flip
One: Never let a neighbor know your business.

50 Cent
I grew up around some neighbors that’s not my homies.

Biggie
And if you don’t know, now you know, neighbor.

Eightball
And I hate my dead neighbors can’t be here.

Kanye West
Got my neighbors in Paris, and they goin’ gorillas.

Jay-Z
Jigga! My neighbor!

Ludacris
Fuck the dress codes, it’s street clothes, we all street neighbors.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon (University of Oklahoma chapter)
There will never be a neighbor SAE.

Mr. Rogers
Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor?

Why NPR is always picked last.

“Say, fellows, you enjoy sport, do you not?”

“But of course, Littlefield. Why do you ask?”

“A whimsical little notion just occurred to me: What say we have a regular series regarding sport on the NPR?”

“Oh, yes, let’s! We can cover Brazilian mountaineering and ladies’ hacky-sack!”

“And tennis?”

“Naturally, tennis!”

“And we can air it when nobody is listening!”

“Splendid! But what shall we name our little programme?”

“Aha; what about something delightfully puckish, such as ‘Come Along, Gents; No Need to Take It So Seriously—After All, It Is Only a Game!’ ”

“Oh, jolly good, Littlefield, jolly good. Let’s don some pantaloons and write poetry!”

“Last one to the locker room is a linebacker!”

“Why, you impish rascal, you!”

[Sound of snapping towels and high-pitched squeals of gym-teacher-infuriating glee. Fade to a lovely shade of mauve that blends nicely with the leather seats of a 1972 Saab.]