Sweet Jebus its cold. And snowy. They are predicting up to 21 inches dumped on the New York Metro from this storm system. Upgraded from 8-12 this morning, which had been an upgrade from the 6-10 they were predicting yesterday.
New Year's plans have evaporated, unlike the snow, which should stick around until at least Tuesday.
So, there are a couple things I notice when I turn a critical eye to my writing for this site (which happens whenever I read a post more than a week old - my short term memory is completely shot from those 6 years when I drank nothing but rubbing alcohol and Lysol from an aerosol can).
One of the things I notice is that I start off way too many paragraphs with the word "so" and overuse "anyway" as a transitional statement.
Anyway, another thing I notice is that I've got some bad mother fucking grammar. For that I really do apologize. As a pre-New Year's resolution I'd like to resolve here and now to not make any errors anymore. I've been wondering for a while now if it would be honest of me to go back and correct the grammar in past writings. Should I do it? Or should I let the past, mistakes and all, be history?
My big revelation, however, is that I'm really not a half-bad writer. I hope other people feel the same way.
I'll be making sporadic updates next week as I am on vacation from work and wont have that groovy high-speed Internet connection. So, from all of us, to all of you, Merry Christmas, or Kwanza, or Hanukah, or, whatever. And a Happy New Year!
A truly strange event happened yesterday, Napster and partner Bertlesmann (BMG), have announced plans to work with German authorities to prevent downloading of Nazi music. Now, protecting copyrights is one thing, stopping the transfer of music based on content is a completely other deal.
True, Napster is providing a service, and if they decide that folks can't use that service in a certain situation, that is their right. But, however logical that may be, it doesn't quite jive. Napster's tact on all those lawsuits filed against them was that they were just the conduit, and if the users of their program decided to break the law by downloading copyrighted music that it was out of their hands. It seems now, though, that that only applies to some laws.
Okay, okay, burning crosses on peoples lawns and making lamp shades out of their skin is an entirely different kind of offense then trading music and depriving struggling musicians like Lars Ulrich of their rightful due, but it really does come down to the same principle.
If people are going to trade music, you can't stop them from trading a particular type of music, whether that be copyrighted material or hateful material. Breaking the law is breaking the law, no matter what law it is. If Napster can't stop the one crime how do they propose to stop the other?
What is really creepy is what this says about the future of free speech on the 'net. Sure, Germany doesn't have the same kind of groovy Constitution and Bill of Rights that we do here in the States, but the Internet is a giant web of information, and if the folks in Germany can't deal with Nazi music, why punish a white supremacist in Missouri?
A lot of Arab countries have issues with sex and alcohol, so would that mean I, here in New York City, won't be able to go to Napster and download the extended dance mix of Snoop Doggy Dog's "Gin and Juice" from someone's hard drive in Southern California?
This is a lowest common denominator type attitude that cleans the media so much that everything becomes one big, shiny, happy, boring pile of shite. It's bad enough, here in the U.S., that I can't hear the word "fuck" on the radio, or see a woman's naked breasts on broadcast TV because there might be children watching, but the Internet for chrissake, I should be able to do whatever the hell I want! So should you, we should unite and do something about it!
Like, the Million Email 03/, for example. The kids over at MP3.com have been in just as much legal trouble, as Napster but have not quite generated the same kind of press. MP3.com was sued because they were allowing users to beam information about what CDs they owned and then play the CDs from any computer connected to the Internet. The way it works is you physically insert a disk into your computer. You computer talk to MP3.com and says, "Yep, this is the real McCoy."
For some reason the big 5 recording companies had a problem with that, whatever. The courts agreed, finding in favor of the recording industry. But they didn't find, exactly, that what MP3.com was doing was illegal. Now, MP3.com has settle with a couple of those companies and is, again, offering the Beam It feature on their my.mp3.com.
MP3.com now wants a law on the books saying, hey, people should be allowed to listen to music they own no matter where they are and no matter what format that music is in. Which is a great idea. There is currently a bill before congress to that effect, Music Owners Listening Rights Act of 2000.
Now, MP3.com and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) want people to write their senators and representatives and put the pressure on to pass this bill. So go, like, write a letter or something.
Hey, itís a late breaking addition to the Holiday Gift Buying Guide! What do you get for the person who has already got everything? No, not a 13 year-old Thai Hooker. You get them a place to put all their stuff. And what better place to put stuff than a bag made from a sack. Your friend will get hours of enjoyment eating candy from a bull's scrotum, and really, who wouldn't doesn't enjoy a good bull scrotum now and again?
Being the egomaniacs we are here at Bad Samaritan we really like to know who are visitors are and where they are coming from. Short of them sending us emails (which we adore) we just check the site logs. We get some pretty strange search queries leading to the site. In fact, every single one has inexplicably included either the terms "Napster," "sex," or "fag." Until last night. Now we can add the word "peeing" to that list. The actual search query was peeing movies drinking, which makes us feel pretty darn icky. The truly bizarre part is that the search came through the Italian Google site.
So, I found out yesterday that the company I work for is being sued. Whoopee! As I was thinking about it I realized that each of my last 3 employers have been sued while I've been working for them. Very odd. The difference being that in this situation I fear for my job. Last week, after management announced a projected $30 million in losses for the 4th quarter, they swore there wouldn't be any layoffs. And while that means I can have a Merry Christmas there is a good chance that by the end of next quarter me and many of my coworkers, might end up ho-ho-homeless. Or at the very least jo-jo-jobless.
Just when I think Rupert Murdoch and the fellas at Fox can't sink any lower they manage to come up with an idea like Temptation Island. Yes, the folks who brought us "When Animals Attack," the "World's Deadliest Police Chases" and "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire" have managed to top themselves again. Here is the premise, and it is indeed a doozie: four unmarried (but committed) couples go to an island with 30 singles. The couples go on dates with the singles and they have to decide, at the end of two weeks, whether they want to stay in their relationship or hook up with someone from the island.
Actually, this show would probably be much better on HBO, since I am guessing nude water sports will abound and the fuzzy dots they use to cover the naughty bits usually cause me to go into an epileptic seizure.
While poking around the Fox site I came across this page, Violence: Get Over It. It is actually a Public Service Campaign AGAINST violence, but that name, pretty cheeky, no? Someone in the marketing department was having fun.
If Macauly Culkin had been a porn star instead of a child star his IMDB listing might look something like this:
Actor - filmography
- Getting Even with Dad by Having Sex with Mom (1994) .... Timmy Gleason
Dick (1994).... Dickie Dick
- Pagemasturbator, The (1994) .... Richard Tyler
- Nutlicker, The (1993) .... The Nutlicker ... aka George Balanchine's The Nutlicker (1993) (USA: complete title)
- Good Lay, The (1993) .... Henry
- Homo Alone 2: Lost in New York's East Village (1992) .... Kevin McCallister
- "Fish Kid" (1991) TV Series (voice) .... Nicholas McClary
- Black and Blue (1991) (V) .... Kid
- My Girl and Her Girlfriend (1991) .... Thomas J. Sennett
- Only the Lonely (1991) .... Billy
- Jacob's Dildo (1990) (uncredited) .... Gabe ... aka Dante's Inferno (1990)
- Homo Alone (1990) .... Kevin 'Kev' McCallister
- See You with the Morning Wood (1989) .... Billy Livingstone
Fuck (1989).... Miles Russell
- Rocket Gaybraltar (1988) .... Cy Blue Black
I can be a very bad person sometimes. Well, at least a very bad webmaster.
When I said that I would have the Texas Death Row Trading Cards up this week I lied. Sorry. I didn't even get time to update yesterday. Again, sorry. Look for the trading cards next week. Really.
I've gotten a number of e-mails about the new site design, all good. Whoopee! I might actually stick with this one for two months. Maybe even an entire quarter, though I might not have a job after next quarter, if the economy keeps heading deeper and deeper into the shit. I already need to put on my wading boots every time I head over to the Motley Fool or The Industry Standard. I've stopped going to Fucked Company altogether. I'm just glad I didn't accept stock options in lieu of a salary and that management does, and always has, have a good idea about how to run a profitable business. As I heard from the CEO yesterday morning, "it is all about winning."
Speaking of winning and losing, how is it that Amazon.com is projected to run out of money some time next spring but Alex Rodriguez will be making $25 million a year plus incentives (and merchandising and advertising)? Do people really get more use/value out of a good (though not great) shortstop than they do out of Amazon?
Maybe if more dot.coms had guys like A-Rod's agent, Scott Boras, at the helm they could actually turn a profit. And poor working stiffs like me wouldn't have to be so worried about whether we still have a job when we head into work each day.
On to positive things, I know I mentioned this before, but lordy am enjoying the new U2. Back in 1991 (Jesus, am I'm getting old or what?) when Achtung Baby, their last good album came out, I thought these guys would be the next Beatles. Nine years and two mediocre albums later U2 may not be the Beatles but at least they are back to being U2. "All That You Can't Leave Behind" is just an excellent album on every level.
Bono and crew just know how to write a good pop song. And unlike the current wave up pop (the Britneys and Backstreets) U2 are also pretty darn mature songwriters, which is only to be expected since they've been around nearly 20 years (I'm so old!). There is also, of course, a really positive message running throughout each track.
If you are a fan of the early era U2 (street with no name, with or without you, ) go out and buy it for yourself. You deserve it, believe me, I talked with Santa just yesterday and you are soooo on the nice list (he told me I'm on his naughty list, if you know what I mean my little bowl full of jelly). Make it an early Christmas present.
Speaking of Christmas and the Beatles, apparently the Fab Four's "1" is the stocking stuffer of choice this holiday season. After getting knocked out of the top spot on the Billboard charts, the Beatles are back at Number 1, bumping the Backstreet boys to number 2, and managing to sell 600 thousand copies. The Beatles have sold at least half a million copies each of the four weeks since the record was released.
Pretty damn amazing considering that the majority of the tracks were originally released more than 30 years ago, not to mention that they are readily available on Napster. Good for the Beatles and good for the American music buying populace for showing good music can be popular. This bodes well for the future of rock and roll in the twenty-first century.
So, uh, on my way from the computer to the kitchen I inadvertently got sucked into the TV in the living room. "Dude, where's my car?" with Kelso from "That Seventies Show" looks to be the stupidest movie ever. I can't wait for it to come out on video. That ought to be some time in 01/, I'm guessing.
It must be my time of the month to like things that I haven't liked in a long time and that only have two letters. I've watched the last couple episodes of ER and have to say the show is as good as it has ever been (who needs Clooney, he should go make another movie with Marky Mark - perhaps "Boogie Nights 2: Dirk Goes Gay" or something). The acting is very tight. There seems to be more drama, less melodrama (okay maybe I take that back, in the episodes I watched there was a revelation of a pregnancy, a revelation of a cancer, a birth, and some lesbian action).
But what really gets me, what has really made me take notice is the quality of the direction. The show looks cinematic. When watching ER I feel I'm watching a movie. Every scene is perfectly shot and just looks gorgeous. I suppose I could do some research, but does anyone know if they've brought in a new set of directors? Cinematographers? The only show that matches the pure visual goodness of E.R is X-Files, which is also making me happier than it has in a couple years.
Oh, long post, time to jet. Check back next week for the Death Row Trading Cards. Have a great weekend, and hail to the chief (shut up, I resisted making any other comment about the election, I deserved to get that one).
The Internet, like the microcosm of non-virtual society it is, is often swept up by fads.
But, unlike real life's crazes, like the hula hoop, pet rocks, or grunge, these type of passing fancies tend to pass the fancy that much quicker on the internet.
Take Hampster Dance, for instance. For a few glorious months back a year or so ago this site had more buzz surrounding it than a C++ programmer after downing a three-liter of Mountain Dew.
When Hampster Dance
2 came out, along with the hamster dance CD (*shiver*) no one cared. I've not received one email forward saying this is a site I "must see."
And they even used flash this time!
So, in 10/when I started getting the emails touting the virtues of Am I HOT or NOT I sensed another hampster dance, another Mahir. When I actually found time to get to the site I quickly realized this might be the passing fancy with staying power.
The brilliance of the site is the simplicity of the concept. And in case you're one of the people so enthralled by Dennis miller's Monday night football coverage that you haven't spent much time on the internet since the season has started the concept of the site is this - 1) look at pictures of people 2) rate whether those people are hot or not.
Am I HOT or NOT works because it merges the two most popular pass times on the web - looking at porn and expressing your personal opinions to a worldwide audience. I can't understand why no one thought of this idea before.
Okay, okay. There is no porn on Am I HOT or NOT. They do an excellent job of keeping the site clean. But clean the way daytime soaps are clean. There is no porn the way that the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue doesn't have porn.
According to a blurb in the current issue of Newsweek Am I HOT or NOT now has over 160/000 pictures in its database and gets 10 mil hits a day. Those are Superbowl numbers and the site manages to get them every day. How long can they keep it up? I don't know, but there already seems to be a bit of a backlash and a flood of copy cats sites horning in on their market space.
If the only thing you are into is seeing pictures of people who are HOT (or people who are NOT) check out Are they HOT or NOT. This site is an unofficial alternative interface to Am I HOT or NOT and lets you see pictures based on score, number of votes or any of several other criteria.
The one thing Am I HOT or NOT is missing is the nudity. Okay I guess they are missing two things, the other being a message board to allow people to explain why they rated someone the way they did. Rate My Rack adds both those features and would look to be the complete package if not for the simple fact that the picture database isn't quite as ample as Am I HOT or NOTs (last I checked there were 17 pictures compared to Am I HOT or NOTs +160/000).
Rate My Goodies is put together by the same people as Rate My Rack and if the title is over your head or a little too cryptic for you here is the deal - look at peoples genitalia and rate them. Am I HOT or NOT is good clean fun. Rate My Rack starts to be a little weird. Rate My Goodies is downright disturbing. However, if you are into that kind of thing enjoy. But be forewarned - the pictures are primarily of dudes.
Am I PRESIDENT or NOT has only gotten funnier since the election has ended. Originally the site contained the entire cast of characters from this melodrama we call politics. Now it is just Gush and Gore. Maybe later today it will be just Bush?
Is Bauhaus your favorite band? Do you own a lot of black clothing? Is your idea of tanning the amount of sun you get from walking from your house to your car? Perhaps you are goth. Perhaps you or not.
Have you just recently evolved an opposable thumb? Do you have hair on your entire body except for your ass? Is your name Koko and do you really, and I mean really, like bananas? Perhaps you are a monkey. Perhaps you are not.
Here are more rating/ranking sites that I haven't really had the chance to explore yet. Have more to add? Want to review them for me?Tell us about it!
I've been very, very bad about updating the site so far this month and I'm not sure why.
Nothing big today, but look forward to later in the week for "The Ratings Game" and the first couple of the brand new Bad Samaritan "Texas Deathrow Trading Cards."
Oh, and by the way, I haven't been a U2 fan since the early-90s and was never really into them to begin with, but their new album (All That You Can't Leave Behind) is really fantastic. Go buy it!
Today is the the 20th anniversary of John Lennon's death.
A lot of people have used this anniversary as a way to market whatever. The rest of the Beatles of have released, just three weeks ago, "Beatles: 1," a collection of their number one hits. The album is currently at number 2 on the Billboard Top 200 having already sold almost 2 million copies. Ironically, the current number 1 on the Billboard charts is the new Backstreet Boys record.
The early Beatles work, like "Love me Do" and "Please Please Me" is really no better quality than anything the Backstreet Boys, or 'NSync are doing now. But do you think any of today's boy bands will ever produce something the quality of "Let it Be" or "Abbey Road"? Do you think any band or music that is being put out today will be
able to sell 2 million copies if rereleased 40 years from now?
Also looking to cash in (figuratively speaking) on Lennon's death is another Lennon, Julian. Julian Lennon is John's son from his first marriage. After John met Yoko, he kind of forgot about his first family. John was willing to give up his music career to be a stay-at-home dad and take care of Sean, his second son, but pretty much ignored Julian. So, Julian does have a pretty valid reason to be bitter, and he is.
Speaking of Sean, the younger, better loved son has some interesting things to say about his dad as well. Like that his father's murder was not just the act of a random kook, but the work of the U.S. government. I can only guess that Sean's misguided theories come as much from his love for his dad as form his parent's heavy drug use.
He believed that he was Holden Caulfield from the "Catcher in the Rye." After I read that book I believed I was Holden Caulfield, or at least like him in some way. But I never killed anyone, though who can really say if Lennon had been alive...
Lennon does seems to bring out the kook in a lot of people. Chapman, for one. And Sean isn't the only person to believe the government was behind Lennon's murder. There are almost as many conspiracy theories as there are surrounding another John's murder - JFK.
At least Lennon doesn't inspire fanaticism at the Elvis level, must of the ex-Beatles' fans actually understand that he is dead. How else can they claim to see his spirit in lens flare?
When I was younger, I would always take off from school on John Lennon's birthday. A local radio station would play every beatles song, in alphabetical order, over the course of the day. This year, I went to work, but only because that radio station no longer exists. I did, however read this, a thorough recounting of the events leading up to Lennon's murder. I nearly cried.
With just days left until Christmas and, lets be honest here, no shopping done, we thought we'd help all our loyal readers out by offering up some of the best gifts on the web. Enjoy!
Living in New York City can be dangerous, everyone should have one of these. Also good for those international terrorists who've been thinking all year about hi-jacking a plane. But when they old lady (aren't they always old ladies?) who is working the medal detector asks you to turn it on, just don't press the 5, 6, 7 or 8 keys.
I'm not sure what is says about me that I want almost every single product on Think Geek, and I don't really want to dwell on it. However, one product stands above all - for your little brother the warez loving, mud-playing, porn-hound, or really for the 133+ h4x0r in every single one of us, try the Caffeine Candy Sampler. As if we all weren't wired enough on Christmas morning...
This isn't a gift for just anybody. It's kind of like giving money to charity in someone's name and then giving that as a Christmas present. Not everyone will appreciate you Adopting a Color in their name. I know I would, although, cold, hard cash will always make me happiest.
Anyone who uses a computer should have one of these. There is no way to explain it, other than having you go there and see it. Lets just say that it is big and would truly be a gamers wet dream. But before you go getting too excited, the $20K+ price tag means that most people will only be able to afford to giving this to the NICEST person on their list, unless you happen to be Richard from Survivor.
Speaking of wet dreams and Richard from Survivor, here is a whole site dedicated to the naughtiest of naughties on your XXX-Mas list. Just be careful where the giftee keeps the pillow, cause when their Cocker Spaniel starts humping the pillows on the sofa, it'll take on too many more weird and disturbing dimensions.
And for those Christians out there who celebrate Christmas (I know there most be a few), who among you have never longed for your own authentic version of the Ten Commandments. The Word of God, in high quality granite, just like the Father himself intended. Now you can finally settle that bet with Sister Mary Margaret over whether the 6th Commandment mentions moose or not.
Christmas is all about remembering someone very special who died for all our sins. Yep, Andy Warhol. And now we can honor him accordingly with this handsome, plush doll. It even comes with a can of Campbell's Tomato soup, the body and blood of our savior, Warhol.
Have a friend who's always wanted to try their hand at artificial life and happens to have an old Palm Pilot lying around? The geniuses at Carnegie Mellon University have built a do-it yourself robot that runs off a Palm processor, and now they've finally released them to the public. Now if they could only make a Chia-Palm-Robot.
Have a great gift idea? In the words of Ricki Lake, tell us about it!
Went out drinking last night. Very, very sick today.
Didn't get to fix the Netscape bug. Anyone have an idea what is wrong?
A new month, a new design.
I like it, what do you think?
There is one new added feature, Link of the Day. It is, uh, a link, that uhm, is the best we found for the day. Made fresh daily.
Look it up, use it, wear it out.
Virginia woman gets a little head at local McDonald's. A chicken head, that is. If the fact their mascot is a weird, scary clown, isn't enough to turn you off from McDonald's forever, this picture of a fried chicken head found in a box of what was supposed to be chicken WINGS, should. You must take a look at this picture.
The 'Net and Politics
People claim that the Internet is the true Democracy maker. That may be true, but it certainly isn't the case in Russia. Putin is pulling a Gore/Lieberman in seeking more government control over television, news and Internet.
I've been informed that the design is a little funky in Netscape. I'll get on it, eventually. Why can't everyone just use Internet Explorer?
Are there any Catholics in house? Put your hands in the air, wave 'em like you just don't care, oh yeah! oh yeah! Uhm, anyway, for the Catholics out there, or anyone else really, a very pretty advent calander. Count down to X-Mas in style (and German).
In observance of World AIDS Day, Bad Samaritan is participating in a Day Without Weblogs (DWW).
Ironic, huh? Normally, we aren't big, well, being nice. But if Santa Claus came every day, it wouldn't be very special now, would it?
We shall return on Monday. And we can get back to making fun of Al Gore, fat people, the homeless, the Backstreet Boys, etc.
Today, please take a few minutes to learn about the global AIDS crisis and find out how you can make a difference.
Organized by Creative Time, a worldwide web observance of World AIDS Day.
(DWA was the inspiration for Day Without Weblogs.)
American Foundation for Aids Research
From the Centers for Disease Control
The nation's oldest AIDS service organization
Remembering those we have lost, using the world's largest community art project
Information about HIV, AIDS and kids
A comprehensive database of AIDS information, updated hourly
How AIDS affects peoples of color