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Archive for September 2009

Lost in YouTube: An Experiment

Filed Under: Be Shareful

So here’s a weird idea I had last night while surfing YouTube’s high seas. I decided to listen to music by starting on a video of my choice and from then on only selecting subsequent tracks from the previous one’s related videos. I’d pick a song I liked, and failing that, one I found at least reasonably tolerable. The playlist ends when I get bored of putting together all these fucking YouTube embeds.

Pearl Jam - The Fixer

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aaron

10:28 AM on September 30th, 2009 | 

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Crawling Up The Walls

Filed Under: Street Art

Famed street artists/masochists Blu and David Ellis recently completed another one of their exercises in redefining the word “painstaking” for the Fame Festival. It’s been making the rounds in the Blogodome the past few days, but I can tell you this much if you haven’t seen it yet… it’s a pretty good replacement for mushrooms.

It’s a truly stunning work of art combining painting, video, installation, and even some demolition to create a sort of moving, growing painting that is truly more of a mixed media creation than simple animation. The environment is critical to the entire piece and certainly adds to its ability to consistently surprise the viewer.

In a word, awesome. In another, thanks a lot Mom for yelling at me for drawing on the walls as a child and crushing any chance of me actually enjoying adult life.

 
aaron

10:00 AM on September 29th, 2009 | 

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The Da Vinci Ode

Filed Under: Book Reviews

danbrown

Dan Brown dresses as Robert Langdon for Halloween.

Though an avid reader several times over, I have never considered myself much of a literary elitist—I’m as likely to be reading one of the Gossip Girl books as War and Peace. So when the release date of Dan Brown’s latest book, The Lost Symbol, was officially announced, it swiftly earned a notation in my Outlook calendar, right between “dentist appointment” and “pick up cat food.” Seriously, my itinerary is the stuff of legends.

But in my excitement—which has less to do with Dan Brown fandom, and more with the nerd-like joy I get from knowing there are a handful of authors who can convince anyone and everyone to read—I had forgotten one thing: Dan Brown really can’t write.

Indeed, much criticism has been made in recent weeks of Brown’s ascent to stardom – a great deal of it, I suspect, from jealous authors who haven’t yet accepted that America’s predilection for lowbrow entertainment transcends all media; why would a country that’s tolerated a half-dozen seasons of Survivor display anything different when it comes to books? In spite of the success of authors like Dean Koontz, Clive Cussler and James Patterson, the last of whom doesn’t even write all of his own books, people seem baffled that America is head over heels for someone like Dan Brown, someone whose writing classes appear to have revolved around the motto “More adjectives, please!” Read More ›

 
kira

3:19 PM on September 28th, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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Fatness Explained

Filed Under: Food and Drink

apple

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Sadly, were this nutritional notice places on all foods in the city, I have a sneaking suspicion the sarcasm would be lost on many.

 
kira

2:00 PM on September 25th, 2009 | 

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Terrorble Times

Filed Under: Politics, Pop Culture

zaziOkay, so it’s not that I don’t respect the threat of terrorism. I totally believe there are plenty of people out there hell-bent on destroying America, because the American way of life — wealthy, overweight, pretty much awesome — is for obvious reasons offensive to some. Plus, the world is full of crazies. Shit, my block is full of crazies.

But  despite my understanding of, and respect for, the global terror threat (my personal alert level is at a consistent and understated yellowy-orange hue), I’m finding it hard to muster up some fear when it comes to the nonstop coverage of Najibullah Zazi, the Colorado man arrested for hatching a plot to detonate bombs in Manhattan subways.

Zazi (which is way easier to type than Najibullah) reportedly went shopping in the days before his arrest for all manner of beauty supply products, which together would have created a bomb capable of as much destruction as we saw during similar attacks in London and Madrid. The New York Times, ever sensational, called the terror case “one of the most serious in years.”

….Really? I mean, really? Eight years ago, a handful of men flew planes full of people into buildings, also full of people, and our most serious threat in 2009 is a 24-year-old building basement bombs out of hairspray and nail polish remover? Who got caught. Might we not, as a country, consider this an improvement on our state of affairs?

I take the subway every day, and on my very long mental checklist of possible dangers — urine, homeless people, homeless people urinating — terrorism is somewhere around No.79. I’ve watched enough Law & Order to know that my chances of getting mugged, molested or murdered on the train are astronomically higher than getting blown up.

Some part of me, by which I mean all of me, thinks it’s high time we start concerning ourselves with what I’ll call “preventable” terrorism — plots that involve ingredients or procedures large-scale enough to warrant attention. Unless Duane Reade has plans to stop selling nail polish remover, chances are high there will always be someone, somewhere, perfectly capable of building a bomb. Look at how long meth has survived in the basement labs of suburban middle America. By the same token, as long as there are people willing to kill themselves in an effort to kill others, there’s just really not a whole lot we can do about it.

In the meantime, while perusing convenience stores for beauty supplies, Zazi might consider investing in some hair maintenance. Beards are so last year.

 
kira

9:51 AM on September 25th, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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Coming To A Graphing Calculator Near You

Filed Under: Skateboarding

Check out this totally extreme video I found linked on Adam Riff. It’s got all the ingredients for the makings of a fartsy phenomenon with just enough edge to convince the cool kids.

  • A rad to the max action sport is featured - check
  • Neon is involved somehow - check
  • There is a blatant grab for the nostalgic - check
  • Sweet techno music that would be pretty decent to listen to in some lower Manhattan vomit hole - check

Just so you know, that was the winning recipe on Food Network’s The Next Viral Video Star.

I was just about ready to sign this off as the coolest thing I’ve seen all week, but… 1) I see a whole lot of cool shit these days, 2) I apparently have some kind of fetish for lists today, and 3) THESE LOSERS ARE ON FREEBORDS.

Admittedly, I don’t even know exactly what a “freebord” is, but I do know that it’s yet another lame appropriation of skateboarding. Leaving the “a” out of “board” does not increase your street cred, sorry to say. Also, those helmets aren’t doing much for your cause either considering helmets are for babies. Aggressive Downhill Tetris is a most dangerous game, my friends. If you’re worried about that soft spot on your skull, maybe you should have stuck to playing normal Tetris with all the inside kids.

 
aaron

12:00 PM on September 24th, 2009 | 

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Man Vs. Beast

Filed Under: Screenshots From Kira's Television

dscn6027

And people say America’s Funniest Home Videos isn’t funny.

 
kira

8:49 PM on September 23rd, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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Elfman’s ‘Situation’ Makes For Stupid Comedy

Filed Under: TV

accidentallyonpurposeJenna Elfman sucks at dating. Just when we all thought we were safe from randomly debilitating replays of Dharma & Greg, arguably one of television’s more ridiculous forays into the great wide world of mediocre comedy as a product of unlikely coupling (see Will and Grace, King of Queens and The Nanny), CBS is getting ready to debut tonight Accidentally on Purpose, a new show starring Elfman as a 30-something movie critic who gets pregnant after having a one-night affair with a man named Zack, and subsequently decides to keep both the baby and the new boyfriend around – indefinitely.

If you’re thinking this sounds familiar, you should be. Who can forget how utterly witty and modern it seemed when Elfman as Dharma married Greg after a single date and the two proceeded to plod through what ultimately became a fairly boring marriage, with the exception being their respectively hilarious parents.

According to Wikipedia, Billie (Elfman) and Zack decide to live together platonically, and hijinks ensue as the two come to the obvious conclusion that living platonically with the other half of your life-changing one-night-stand makes thing like dating, friendship, or normal day-to-day existence pretty hard. I’m picturing that season of Will & Grace where Grace decides she wants to have a baby with Will, and we’re all really happy for them and their gay-friendly decision-making until it becomes clear that platonic friend-babies, even hypothetical ones, aren’t as fun when there’s not even the remote possibility of their parents having drunken sex one night after a fight over diaper genies. Moreover, this plotline fizzles out after approximately nine months, at which point all of the hilarity of shared living space takes a backseat to the fact that these two will ostensibly have a real live baby to care for.

So I’m sorry Jenna, but this ship has sailed. Multiple times, and we know it ends up in one of two places: the no-man’s land of boring finales, where even the suggested union of Will and Grace’s respective children wasn’t enough to get the sour taste of our mouths, or the totally predictable island of happily ever after, where Ross and Rachael are probably shacked up right now.

Unfortunately, without the star power of Jennifer Aniston, or the scene-savers that were W&G’s Karen and Jack, Accidentally on Purpose is poised to accidentally suck by making poor and predictable plot choices, on purpose.

 
kira

5:05 PM on September 21st, 2009 | 

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Through The Looking Glass

Filed Under: Skateboarding

This is like talking about the Stone Age as far as the Internet is concerned, but last year Color Magazine and Red Bull put together a contest where 10 different Canadian skateboard teams filmed video parts in 10 different Canadian cities to produce, obviously, the closest thing to pornography skateboarders can get aside from actual pornography: incredible, original skateboarding footage.

Unfortunately for my knuckle-dragging ass (important to note: my ass does not actually have any knuckles) I only just discovered this footage. And because it’s Canadian and strange, I imagine there is a chance you have yet to see it as well. After all, a year in Canada isn’t really any time at all since they haven’t actually invented this “time” thing up there yet.

This is my favorite entry from the contest — it features Rick McCrank alongside a couple of other lumberjack spawn, and is filmed entirely through reflections. It’s definitely one of the most unique approaches to a video part I’ve seen, to say nothing of how simply beautiful it is. Skateboarding’s relentless progression is due in large part to the massive amounts of creativity within its culture, and it’s really inspiring to see it played out in other facets of the industry aside from just trick selection. Inspiring in a “Wow, that was sweet, I sure feel like an unproductive loser with a sprained knee” kind of way, which is even better than normal inspiring.

 
aaron

9:30 AM on September 17th, 2009 | 

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Celebrate Good Times

Filed Under: Politics

electionwinDespite low voter turnout (thanks Bloomberg) for the city primaries this year, this lady was pretty fucking excited.

Her elation is impressive considering the victory was just a Staten Island Council seat. Unless this photo is actually from some sort of concert sweepstakes. Or perhaps she just found an apartment in another borough, any other borough. Maybe she won a gift certificate to the Staten Island mall? Or a free pair of stone-washed jeans and 20% off her next hairspray purchase.

Either way, congrats Debi.

 
kira

2:00 PM on September 16th, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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Wedding Rings, Onion Rings

Filed Under: TV Reviews

taliwinsMore to Love indeed. How a show that’s gotten a tepid response at best managed to command a two-hour season finale is beyond me, but hey, I’m not complaining. Somehow over the past few weeks, MTL has completely reeled me in — something about the mix of poignant fat-girl observations and otherwise predictable reality fare has turned this into a Fox masterpiece. And it helps that our bachelor Luke’s ultimate choice also becomes his fiancee. Not that engagement necessarily means marriage, or even that marriage matters for anything these days, but still - even VH1 stays away from betrothal.

There were two ladies left in the championship round. The first was Melissa A., about whom you should know this: blond, gigantic boobs, pretty, and gained her weight — the prerequisite for being on this show — in the last few years. Her immediate connection (read: sexual attraction) with Luke has made her a front-runner since Day 1, but her lack of fat-girl childhood is actually why she’s been the other girls’ nemesis. In a melodramatic confession last week, Luke told Melissa she is the one he’s most afraid will break his great big steak-filled heart. Truthfully, I think he’s right. Bitch is shady.

The other remaining lady: Tali, a surprisingly normal decorator who slipped completely under the radar until there were so few girls it was impossible not to notice her. Tali, who sometimes looks beautiful and other times like a witch—think the leading lady in My Big Fat Greek Wedding—has one recurring character trait: She’s from Israel. Not like…born Jewish but can’t resist those cheese-filled hot dogs. I mean she moved to the states all of four years ago, and her family–who still live in Israel–is none too welcoming of “outsiders.” (I’m pretty sure a 300-pound white former football player from California falls into that definition).  So she and Luke have a sort of Romeo and Juliet thing going on, which at times seems fairly sincere.

But okay, here’s why I really think this show is so interesting. Of all of the VH1 dating shows I’ve spent multiple hours watching, the word “love” is conspicuously absent about 93% of the time. The women competing for Real, Chance, Bret, or Ray-J may think their man of choice is in fact Mr. Right, but most of them are smart enough to keep it to themselves. Moreover, I don’t think too many of them really believe they’re going to end up with someone who actually makes a living by dating on television — these are, after all, strippers. They’re familiar with life’s harsh realities.

On More to Love, by contrast, the word “love” is used more often than Spanx. Everyone lovessss Luke, everyone lovveesss the way Luke makes them feel, and the last two girls fall hook, line and sinker for the fact that Luke says he is “in love” with both of them, simultaneously. Perhaps this is where the weight issue really comes in—Ladies, you may have stumbled upon a decent–if moronic–guy who happens to like bigger women, but you still stumbled into him on reality TV. Take a look at the other instances of fat people on television (Dance Your Ass Off, Celebrity Fit Club, Half-Ton Dad) and tell me whether you think Fox has your best interests at heart. Read More ›

 
kira

9:50 AM on September 16th, 2009 | 

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“Just Talk To Her, Man!”

Filed Under: Dumb or Dumber

I’m putting this up so it will be easy to find when I’m high later.
 
kira

4:05 PM on September 15th, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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