While watching Big Fish (Encore on Demand) the other night I got a lot of Vince Offer.  Best infomercialist in 10yrs.

Sham Wow!

“It’s like a towel or a sponge.”  “…the Germans always make good stuff.”

Slap Chop

“Guys, we’re gonna make America skinny again, one slap at a time.”  “Tacos, fettucini, linguini, martini, bikini.”

Vince revives my boyhood dream of being “an inventor.”  I think if he would sell my inventions, I would be rich.  They don’t even need to be that good.

My inventions (still in the idea phase, mostly):

Ultrafork: The serrated fork: It’s like a fork, only the bottom prong has a serrated edge to cut.  “No more knives, no more knives.”  Also comes in left-handed model.

Toi-top: the toilet table for your laptop. It’s like a TV dinner table, only for other stuff.

Neck Mirror: It’s the mirror that shows you the back of your neck. Ever try to cut your own hair?  Can’t see the back of your head, can you?  With Neck Mirror, the mirror mounts on the patented dual-swivel harness so you can see.

The Exer-Vision!!: Watch Lost, lose weight. It’s a treadmill that you can run on (or hookup your bike to) so that the powerstrip for your TV/DVD, etc is powered by exercise only.

Law & Disorder in where?

Jenni got me watching this BBC special hosted by Louis Theroux called Law & Disorder in Philadelphia.  Below is the first of 6 parts that you can view on youtube, or on Jenni’s blog (link above).

I can’t help but feel a lot of things while watching.  It’s pretty good in the sense that I wanted to continue once I started.  Pretty brutal in that it portrays a dangerous and seemingly unsolvable cycle of poverty in violence.

If you live around here you might recognize some of the sights (maybe even people).   People around the neighborhood do act like this sometimes (and so do the cops), but the sensationalization bugs me.  People are going to look even crazier when they have such a narrow-viewed interrogater looking at violence in the city at one level.  It’s almost to say “this is why our city sucks” or “be afraid to live here because these people are on the loose.”

Well, our city does kind of suck sometimes.  I’d like to dig a bit further at some causes of poverty, Louis.  I’d like to explore why we’re not working together to keep illegal guns off the street.   I’d like to consider the American way of life that leads the “haves” to run to a place of relative safety, sometimes at the expense of the “have nots”.  I’d like some more options for people who get stuck in the ruts of their surroundings.

I guess it would be a boring movie to explore corporate profit on the street drug industry, sale of illegal handguns, letting neighborhoods languish before buying them up, etc.  At least boring in the sense that you don’t have a person with a crack addiction yelling into the camera to reinforce a lot of stereotypes.

The culture of violence or the cycle of poverty are not easily explained or solved.  We really do need Jesus in Philadelphia.

I used to love H.E.R.

I’ve never been a huge fan of homework.  But it’s not always doing math equations and reading 50pgs a day.  For my Hip Hop and Black Culture class part of my assignment is to listen to this song, watch the video, and read the lyrics to prepare for a class discussion.  Awesome!

Video, lyrics, then a couple of reflections.

This is Chicago-based rapper Common (when he was still Common Sense) in the 1994 song “I used to love H.E.R.” off the album Resurrection.

Verse One:

I met this girl, when I was ten years old
And what I loved most she had so much soul
She was old school, when I was just a shorty
Never knew throughout my life she would be there for me
ont he regular, not a church girl she was secular
Not about the money, no studs was mic checkin her
But I respected her, she hit me in the heart
A few New York niggaz, had did her in the park
But she was there for me, and I was there for her
Pull out a chair for her, turn on the air for her
and just cool out, cool out and listen to her
Sittin on a bone, wishin that I could do her
Eventually if it was meant to be, then it would be
because we related, physically and mentally
And she was fun then, I'd be geeked when she'd come around
Slim was fresh yo, when she was underground
Original, pure untampered and down sister
Boy I tell ya, I miss her

Verse Two:

Now periodically I would see
ol girl at the clubs, and at the house parties
She didn't have a body but she started gettin thick quick
DId a couple of videos and became afrocentric
Out goes the weave, in goes the braids beads medallions
She was on that tip about, stoppin the violence
About my people she was teachin me
By not preachin to me but speakin to me
in a method that was leisurely, so easily I approached
She dug my rap, that's how we got close
But then she broke to the West coast, and that was cool
Cause around the same time, I went away to school
And I'm a man of expandin, so why should I stand in her way
She probably get her money in L.A.
And she did stud, she got big pub but what was foul
She said that the pro-black, was goin out of style
She said, afrocentricity, was of the past
So she got into R&B hip-house bass and jazz
Now black music is black music and it's all good
I wasn't salty, she was with the boys in the hood
Cause that was good for her, she was becomin well rounded
I thought it was dope how she was on that freestyle shit
Just havin fun, not worried about anyone
And you could tell, by how her titties hung

Verse Three:

I might've failed to mention that this chick was creative
But once the man got you well he altered her native
Told her if she got an image and a gimmick
that she could make money, and she did it like a dummy
Now I see her in commercials, she's universal
She used to only swing it with the inner-city circle
Now she be in the burbs lickin rock and dressin hip
And on some dumb shit, when she comes to the city
Talkin about poppin glocks servin rocks and hittin switches
Now she's a gangsta rollin with gangsta bitches
Always smokin blunts and gettin drunk
Tellin me sad stories, now she only fucks with the funk
Stressin how hardcore and real she is
She was really the realest, before she got into showbiz
I did her, not just to say that I did it
But I'm committed, but so many niggaz hit it
That she's just not the same lettin all these groupies do her
I see niggaz slammin her, and takin her to the sewer
But I'ma take her back hopin that the shit stop
Cause who I'm talkin bout y'all is hip-hop

Besides this being a classic work it is one of the great hip hop 
parables.  This would be anexample of one of those songs that is 
all-too-easy misunderstood at face value.  You could listen
and even be offended because he talks of sex or lewd observations 
about the subject's new sexy style. When this song came out you 
gotta remember what was happening in the world-especially in the 
hip hopworld.  West Coast vs. East Coast and Gangsta Rap was c
oming up.  Hip Hop had gone through the folk and art phases 
and was now in the pop phase-it was being made for mass consumption.  

Common uses the woman he always loved as a metaphor for hip hop,
 showing him the way-going through consciousness and into a place 
that he did not want to follow-making money and being about sex,
violence, and drugs.  It had sold its soul, but hope remained for 

H.E.R. means "Hip Hop in its Essence is Real."

Great song and this was when Common was still the man.  
His last 2 albums haven't quite lived upto his old stuff, imho.

the snuggie

this is my favorite commercial…the Snuggie.

I love the 2 parts:  when the family is roasting marshmellows on their backyard firetable and then at the sports event-all in their matching Snuggies!  Those druids sure know how to keep warm w/o their blacks sliding off.

As me, MG, and Jay were watching Survivorman tonight the commercial was on again and I felt inclined to share it.  People who like survivalist shows also might like a snuggie.  Maybe kind of like watching world championship cage fighting every other commercial is for erectile dysfunction.

Lighten up a little bit. It’s only the end of the world.

Okay, maybe only the end of the greatest show in TV history-Battlestar Galactica.  Season 4.5 is underway next Friday, and will be the beginning of the end of a great ride.  There are 10 webisodes to prime the pump, only 8 are on right now, so if you want to wait until they are all there to save yourself from suspense, better wait.

Samuel Anders, whose quote is the title of this post

Samuel Anders, whose quote is the title of this post

The end of 2008 has also come and gone.   So have the days of having to root for Pat the Bat (sorry, Phil).

gone to Tampa Bay to DH

gone to Tampa Bay to DH

A dynamic year,

Rich with grief and jubiliation…

Glad to see it gone.