Random Contest!!!

Through a series of clicks that led me to a blog called Music Slut, I found a link to a free download of the song “Half Mast.” I keep going on about how it’s one of my Missiles-era faves, so I thought I’d re-share the link for you to listen/download.

I also got the totally random idea for a trivia contest that, out of 6 parts boredom, 3 parts because there’s a frakking snow storm outside and 1 part procrastination, I am running guerilla style (translation: from my home office, where all the BEST grant work happens).

So after you’ve listened I want you to think about who this song could possibly be loosely inspired by? Your only clue (after the ones beating you over the head in the lyrics) is the timing of when we recorded it: summer 2008.

RULEZ: The first direct tweet to @thedears with the correct answer is the winner. You will get by mail an autographed (by me and Murray) copy of the Indie Rock Coloring Book.

That’s right. Winter in Canada is turning me into an insane person.

Good luck! To both of us!

UPDATE: Correct answer is Barack Obama. First one to give it up was @shetlandshaun. Congrats and thanks to all who sent their guesses.

Tuesday’s Links

Some things I’ve seen lately, that have struck me as a little interesting:

The $150 Space Camera. At first it was just a curious headline, then the thought of it was really, really heavy. Space is not that far away.

Women Rescued from Reality TV scam. I don’t know who is more desperate in this situation? The captives or the captors?

Want Your Own Dinosaur? Place your Bids. Is this morally responsible? Like, should ancient things belong to anyone? They should be everyman’s.

The Mythbusters at The Emmys. From Adam Savage’s Twitter. He is such a nerd. And hilarious. My crush continues.

An entire house, tented. Insane pesticide or some kind of anti-bug bomb ensued. From Jeff Castelaz’s Twitter. See, in Canada if you just wait it out a few months until winter, all the bugs die of cold anyway. Ya, right…

VMA Fug Carpet: Lady Gaga. While sometimes irritatingly annoying, Ms. Gaga’s fashion shenanigans can be eye-roll-inducing. But I agree with Go Fug Yourself: this red outfit is amazing. That is some sci-fi, video game, Silent Hill-quality avant-garde shit, for which I give her mad props. That getup, my friends, is OG.

Ok. Now go have a productive week. I’m gonna go…scrape.

UPDATE: Heart Attack Grill. HOLY SHIT. MIND BLOWN! Watch the YouTube clip at the bottom of the page.

Twetiquette

What am I supposed to do with all the sluts who are “following” my Twitter? Like literally, these are porn spammers. Do you think these are real Twitter users, who care about what I’m thinking and doing? I have a very strong feeling they don’t. Wouldn’t they be better served if they targeted a market instead of being truly shameless and whoresome? I mean, probably 90% of men (the other 10% would click but never admit to it) would probably check out a sexually inviting link accompanied by a breasty photo of a 20-year-old. The link would likely redirect you to a website selling Viagara, Cialis, Rolex watches, college degrees, high school diplomas, once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunities, or just porn. What can I say…sex sells.

What’s the proper etiquette? Am I allowed to delete them? Is that what people do? Or would they rather have maximum followers to prove their populatiry? Ugh. This is exhausting. Thankfully, I just found this, which kind of answers all my prayers: Should You Block Twitter Spam? From the source.

WTF Mondays.

Today, for some reason (TGIM?), the BBC had some really awesome, brainless, insightful headlines today:

Twitter tweets 40% babble: we needed a media outlet to tell us this? How does one validate an observation like: “It’s raining.” Is that babble if P Diddy is tweeting it?

US banknotes show cocaine traces: Barfitating, sickitating, grossitating. Cocaine sucks. But on 95% of bills?

Belgian girl’s tattoo ‘nightmare’: Someone fucked up.

Moderate drinking ‘boosts bones’: And my doctor wants me to take a calcium supplement. As if.

Oh shit gotta run…my 4-year-old is cutting her own hair!

Social Network Breakdown!

Holy crap. Twitter is down. This morning I wondered why my last few tweets were MIA. I figured it was a problem with TwitterMail, which has happened before. But no, it’s bigger than that. Should we panic? How am I supposed to broadcast my tiny, insignificant thoughts to the world?

I know: Facebook. So I start to be concerned (with an underlying sense of relief) that Facebook won’t let me login. Server too busy. Login timed out. Connection was reset. This is the social apocalypse! I may have to communicate more thoughfully, timelessly, indirectly. Say by telephone, or postcard.

I wonder if this is a big deal or not?

I have not abandoned this blog. I’ve simply been extra lazy about it. No, really I’ve been wanting to write more but since I’ve been doing Pop Montreal bio writing and a bunch of grant paperwork, I rarely have brainpower left to write anything beyond a tweet. So, sorry for the links, the half-brained posts, but this can be included as one of them.

Something that is interesting, however, in the meanwhile (gadgetry): Apple Tablet. Not certain how I feel about a giant iPod en lieu of a laptop, but I am on the market in the next year or so for something smaller, lighter, faster, niftier…and that doesn’t run on Windows.

Now that we’re done playing shows for a little while, I promise to write more in August (after grant deadlines, essentially).

Books

The other day I formulated an extreme thought on society and culture. This is one of my classic thoughts (reminiscent of last year’s post: Poetry is Dead), something that I might believe in but could never commit to. Its just interesting, a “what if.”

The thesis: Do we need fiction anymore? Remember a few years ago when the soft-memoir was all the rage? Until the Oprah-fueled debacle over the fictionalization of an apparent memoir: “A Million Little Pieces”. That was disappointing: not because moments of the book were fictionalized, but that people cared more about whether or not it was true hard fact, rather than the idea that they just read a well-written, inspiring story (though I never read it, but you get the point).

The other night, looking at a small stack of novels I have piled at my bedside, I wondered why I find it so difficult to get into a book? Why don’t I read anymore? There are certainly enough books worth reading, and also a near-equivalent number of books I haven’t read yet. So my bedside booklist sits, glowing with good intention, but rarely ever beating out the back pages of The Economist or a rousing game of Sudoku on the DS: both wonderfully sedating by being boringly-interesting (or interestingly-boring?).

I love reading: it fires up my brain, reminds me of the words I know but that I never use, makes me think of all the things I could communicate properly instead of calling them “great” or, quite simply, “radz.” I am also reminded of my poor command of the English language, my grammatical laziness and slothful attention to usage. Ah, but I’ve digressed.

I thought of how I often feel uninspired to read, unwilling to immerse myself in a story, in something dense and complicated, with characters both likable and not. When I realised this is it: I am resistant to investing my time in people, in the protagonist and the antagonist and their little dilemmas. The mere idea is entirely exhausting.

Why would I study, commit, connect to characters when this is what I am doing all day? I read people’s blogs, their Facebooks, their Twitters; somehow I know what people across the continent have done in a day, where they’ve gone, how they feel, how the weather affects them, which YouTube videos made them laugh, the news they’ve read, the music they’ve listened to, the things they like/loathe. I know the intersections of myriad characters: hundreds of people and the minutiae of their every single day. Aren’t these the very elements that help us learn and understand a character in a novel? The threads that weave together a personality? Their relationships and how they interact with the world? This is my new fiction, my neo-memoir: via social networking, I am reading dozens of life stories every day. The only difference is, unlike reading a book, I cannot control how quickly I get to the end. I am also never guaranteed a prefect story arc or meaningful closure. If I don’t like someone’s story, or the way they are telling it, I have to wait years to see how it ends: do they stay together? Lose the house? Get the job? Succeed wonderfully? Fail miserably? Stay happy? Stumble into a crippling depression? How will I know? I have to be patient.

I’ll get to the end of every story, sooner or later.