Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Abraham Lincoln or Kathy Griffin?

  1. But if something funny happens, I can't resist. I have to tell the people.
  2. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.
  3. Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.
  4. The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.
  5. I love Mariah Carey. Remember the breakdown? I loved the breakdown.
  6. I'm not always in that good with middle-aged heterosexual men.
  7. The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me
  8. Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.
  9. I'm on every worst-dressed list imaginable.
  10. Gwyneth Paltrow names her kid Apple. I'm not going to let that stand.
  11. Food is my thing, I do not smoke or drink, so food is my vice.
  12. Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
  13. At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
  14. I can be 5 feet from Christina Aguilera, for example - we've worked together many times - and she will not even look at me.
  15. I love dirt of all kinds. All dirt is clean. There's no such thing as filthy dirt.
  16. I do road gigs occasionally but I don't want to go out on the road for months at a time.
  17. A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.
  18. Whenever I get a new pair of pants, they have to be hemmed like two feet!
  19. To state the question more directly, are all the laws, but one, to go unexecuted, and the government itself go to pieces, lest that one be violated? Even in such a case, would not the official oath be broken, if the government should be overthrown, when it was believed that disregarding the single law, would tend to preserve it? But it was not believed that this question was presented. It was not believed that any law was violated. The provision of the Constitution that 'The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, shall not be suspended unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it,' is equivalent to a provision---is a provision---that such privilege may be suspended when, in cases of rebellion, or invasion, the public safety does require it. It was decided that we have a case of rebellion, and that the public safety does require the qualified suspension of the privilege of the writ which was authorized to be made.
  20. That's what I loved about Temptation Island. I don't even know why they did it.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Pop Cultural Euphemisms for Masturbation and/or Bowel Movements

  1. indicting Scooter Libby
  2. sending another potential American Idol to Hollywood
  3. ridin' dirty
  4. checking in with Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room
  5. TiVo-ing "Ugly Betty"
  6. posting to my blog
  7. test-firing a Taepodong 2 missile in North Korea
  8. moving Little Miss Sunshine to the top of my Netflix queue
  9. Googling myself
  10. dropping my new single
  11. conducting another uncomfortable interview with Dick Cheney
  12. opening up to Dr. Phil
  13. sending junk mail to my Spam folder
  14. considering having Diddy produce my new album
  15. shrugging off global warming

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Friday, January 19, 2007


  1. Blame it on the Night Sky
  2. Tellin' Lies
  3. We Can't Go On Like This
  4. Wonderin' How You Been
  5. Topeka
  6. Listenin' to Your Heart
  7. These Dusty Dirt Roads
  8. Empty Mill Town
  9. My Boardwalk Girl
  10. Lost Voice in the Coal Mine
  11. Sally, Don't You Break This Heart
  12. I Think We're Gonna Make It

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Cultural Irony and/or Coincidence #6: The Veruca Salt Circle of Life

Okay. Follow me here:
  1. The band They Might be Giants got their name from a 1971 film called They Might be Giants, starring George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward.
  2. In 1986, They Might Be Giants released their song, "We're the Replacements," which was a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the '80s band The Replacements.
  3. Strangely, the next year The Replacements released their song "Alex Chilton," another tribute-- but this time to the lead singer of the influential '70s group Big Star.
  4. On their 1972 album #1 Record, Big Star had a song called "Thirteen," which featured the lyric, "Won't you tell your dad get off my back/ Tell him what we said 'bout 'Paint It, Black'." This was a reference to the Rolling Stones song "Paint It, Black," which was released in 1966.
  5. Interestingly, Bob Dylan released his critically acclaimed hit "Like a Rolling Stone" a year before--in 1965. A reference to the band? Of course.
  6. Keeping the string of connections going strong, David Bowie released "Song for Bob Dylan" in 1971.
  7. Then, on their 1997 album Eight Arms to Hold You, flash-in-the-pan alternative band Veruca Salt featured the song "With David Bowie".
  8. Veruca Salt got their name from a character in Roald Dahl's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  9. This was made into the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which was released in 1971--the same year as They Might Be Giants.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Best of 2007: A Preemptive Retrospective

I woke up this morning to a new dawn: 2007 had arrived! Seems like just a week and a half ago I had downed my New Year's Eve keg of Ambien, Lunesta, and Jagermeister cocktail before going to bed. But here it is: 2007 and a full bladder.

I feel bad about going straight from Christmas musings to a week and a half into the new year; I didn't give 2006 a proper looking back. Well, that's not going to happen in 2007. As a matter of fact, I'm going to go ahead and do my Best of 2007 Lists now so I don't forget them once late December (and its tempting sedatives!) comes around.

Best Album of the Year

Britney Spears, The Grant Sessions

In an effort to undo 2006's Shavenvagina-gate and return to her jail-bait innocence days, Spears did the unthinkable (easy for her) by doing an entire album of Amy Grant covers. Spears not only took on the early '90s mainstream radio Grant (in a stroke of fortune, Peter Cetera was available for another duet!) but also the late '80s Christian pop Grant. With L'il Jon on the mixing boards, "El Shaddai" never sounded so tight. (Download this: "Baby, Baby (Hit Me One More Time...Again)")

Best Film of the Year

Oceans 1

Steven Soderburgh reclaims his reputation as avant garde film-maker with this look back at the origin of his Oceans series (hey, it worked with Dumb and Dumberer, right?). In this first installment, young Danny Ocean (Topher Grace) does a one-man stage show, ranting on the joys and frustrations of small-time robbery. Hip music, stylized tinted lenses, shaky hand-held camera work, and a Wonder-Years-esque voice-over by George Clooney made this film a shoe-in for Oscar buzz.

Best Song of the Year

"Do They Know it's Christmas? (2007)"

Only Phil Collins and Bananarama returned for this remake of the 1984 politically and socially charged original. Instead of taking on apartheid in Africa, the new version focuses its attention (and proceeds) on a more contemporary issue: Mexican immigration. But because most Mexican immigrants are Catholic, most actually do know it's Christmas. To counter this, the chorus was changed to "Do they know it's Christmas time at all?...Yes." Still: in a year of tired emo-hip-pop, this was the best song of the year.

Best TV Show of the Year

As all network and cable stations shut down early in 2007, the best "TV show" was found--surprise, surprise--on the internet. No description can do this show justice. You have to see it (again!) for yourself: Best TV Show of the Year

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Misheard Lyrics!...Christmas Edition!

When you're standing around the piano, pouring eggnog down your gullet while you sing Christmas carols, it's pret-ty amusing the kinds of things that can come out of your mouth--before the spiced, milky vomit, I mean. And it's even worse when there's other people there as well. You hear things like, "That's not how the song goes, you communist!" Or, "You're going to rot in hell for that!" Or, "Who invited Frosty the Retard to our party?" Or, "You've got an eggnog bubble coming out of your left nostril." Or even, "That's the sickest, most perverted version of 'Silent Night' I've ever heard. I'm so hot for you right now."

Anywho. Here are a few examples of Christmas lyrics I get wrong every year!


Real Lyrics:
"You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen..." (Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer)

Misheard Lyrics: "You know Ted Danson the Dancer goes pantsing with Nixon, Vomit and Stupid and Boner and Shitzen..."


Real Lyrics: "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,/ Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh." (Jingle Bells)

Misheard Lyrics:
"Taco Bell, Taco Bell, Taco Bell's new Stuffed Gordito Burrito/ Oh what fun it is to eat when the drive-thru stays open late."


Real Lyrics:
"We're gliding along with a song of a wintery fairy land." (Sleigh Ride)

Misheard Lyrics: "We're gliding along with a song in a slippery fanny land."


Real Lyrics:
"Deck the halls with boughs of holly/ Fa la la la la, la la la la" (Deck the Halls)

Misheard Lyrics:
"Smack my balls with bowls of barley/ Yum yum yum yum yum, hee hee hee hee."


Real Lyrics:
Unknown ("Angels We Have Heard on High")

Misheard Lyrics: "O-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oreo, in eggshells with mayo!"

Merry Christmas, everyone! From all of us here at Hustla of Cultcha to you and yours!

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Cultural/Musical Time Capsule 2006

The overwhelming response on country radio in 2003 after Dixie Chick Natalie Maines publicly denounced President Bush in concert was, "Shut up and sing." There was some bizarre expectation that musicians were not supposed to be political, or if they were political, it was not supposed to be critical. In 2006, The Dixie Chicks came back with their song "Not Ready to Make Nice"; here's a snippet:

I made by bed, and I sleep like a baby,
With no regrets and I don't mind saying,
It's a sad sad story
That a mother will teach her daughter
that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.
And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they'd write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

Rock music since the Dixie Chicks incident in 2003 has been even more vocal about its distaste for our government's policies. This year, more than ever, musicians have spoken out about our involvement in the Middle East, the government's response to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and the Bush administration's problematic God-in-a-box approach to the world. Here are some highlights from 2006--in no particular order.

1. Road to Peace, Tom Waits.
Uncharacteristically overtly political for Waits. A criticism, in particular, of the U.S. support of Israel in its military conflict with Palestine.

Once Kissinger said "we have no friends, America only has interests"
Now our president wants to be seen as a hero and he's hungry for re-election
But Bush is reluctant to risk his future in the fear of his political failures
So he plays chess at his desk and poses for the press 10,000 miles from the road to peace

2. The River in Reverse, Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint. Along with "Broken Promise Land," this song is a response to the situation in New Orleans post-Katrina. (Toussaint himself is from New Orleans.)

So count your blessings when they ask permission
To govern with money and superstition
They tell you it's all for your own protection
'Til you fear your own reflection
But the times are passing from illumination
Like bodies falling from a constellation
An uncivil war divides the nation
So erase the tape on that final ape running down creation
Running down creation

3. Power Doesn't Run on Nothing, The Thermals. The Thermals 2006 album The Blood, the Body, and The Machine is a concept album (often compared to Green Day's American Idiot) that imagines America in some kind of fanatic, apocalyptic, religious battle. Lead singer Hutch Harris said he tried to write many of the songs in the point of view of Dick Cheney.

They'll give us what we're asking for
Because our God is with us
And our God is the richest

4. Impeach the President, Neil Young. Young's Living with War album is not the most subtle critique of our current administration. See below for an example of his candor:

Let's impeach the president
For hijacking our religion and using it to get elected
Dividing our country into colors
And still leaving black people neglected

5. The President's Dead, Okkervil River. Not as incendiary as the title suggests. As the passage below illustrates, if the president died, it wouldn't really be a happy day. The rest of the song is more about self-reflection than political commentary.

He's lying face down with his black-dressed agents
Guns drawn running around and the early Obits
Say he was a good man, you can't argue with that
Not today you can't, not now you can't.

6. Wartime Prayers, Paul Simon. A bit of sentimentality in your protest.

Prayers offered in times of peace are silent conversations,
Appeals for love or love's release
In private invocations
But all that is changed now,
Gone like a memory from the day before the fires.
People hungry for the voice of God
Hear lunatics and liars
Wartime prayers, wartime prayers
In every language spoken,
For every family scattered and broken.

7. I Will See You in Far Off Places, Morrissey. On Morrissey's You are the Quarry album, he had a song called "America is not the World," which was obviously a criticism of our recent (at the time) attack on Iraq. In his new album, there are traces of this same sentiment, but they're mostly tongue-in-cheek, like this line:

If your god bestows protection upon you
And if the USA doesn't bomb you
I believe I will see you somewhere safe
Looking to the camera, messing around
and pulling faces.

8. Take a Bow, The Muse. From another anti-Bush concept album. This one is a bit too angry for me to take seriously (especially when the song angrily declares that Bush will burn in hell for what he's done--whoa there! see Okkervil River for a reality check).

You're corrupt
Bring corruption to all that you touch
You behold
And beholden for all that you've done
And spin
Cast a spell
Cast a spell on the country you run
And risk
You will risk
You will risk all their lives and their souls

9. Head (Of State), The Coup.
A very funny and clever hip-hop take on the modern history of the relationship between Iraq and the U.S. A later song on the album is titled "Babyletshaveababybeforebushdosomethingcrazy."

Bush and Hussein together in bed
Giving H-E-A-D head
Y'all motherfuckers heard what we said
Billions made and millions dead

10. Harrowdown Hill, Thom Yorke.
After I heard a rumor about the meaning behind this song, I did some Googling and sure enough, this is Yorke responding to the controversial death of Dr. David Kelly, who died in 2003 after raising questions about Iraq's possession of WMDs. Yorke's song seems to suggest that the government silenced Kelly for uncovering the truth.
Don't walk the plank like I did
You will be dispensed with
When you've become inconvenient
In the Harrowdown Hill
Where you went to school
That's where I am
That's where I'm lying down

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