Sunday, January 17, 2010

Should have put a ring on it.

Today was going to be another 'Literal Lyrics' post. However, in my quest for a current single that has terrible lyrics (usually not a difficult search) I discovered this:

Hosted by
(Bigger version here.)

That's right. Number 46 on the ARIA Top 50 singles chart is 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)' as sung by The Chipettes. Who are 'The Chipettes' you ask? To quote Wikipedia, "The Chipettes are a fictional group of anthropomorphic chipmunk singers first appearing on the cartoon series Alvin and the Chipmunks in 1983." How are they in the charts in 2010 then?

Well, thanks to the eternal crap machine that is Hollywood, the old Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoon was revived in 2007 as a live action/CGI, and despite being critically panned, it made almost 10 times it's budget at the box office and in DVD sales. Turns out, not only do humans have an awful taste in music, we're also not that great with movies either. The inevitable sequel, referred to as the "squeakquel" (see what they did there?) was released in December last year, and re-introduced The Chipettes to the world.

Not content with raping our eyes via cinema screens, the good people at Warner Music found it in their hearts to violate our ears as well, and released a soundtrack, containing 15 (18 if you got the Deluxe iTunes Edition, woo bonus tracks!) songs, performed exclusively by either The Chipmunks, The Chipettes, or both.

Before you get excited and say, "They trained actual chipmunks to sing? That's incredible! I love avant garde music, where can I buy this album?" I must clarify what they mean by songs. Basically what the brilliant minds at 20th Century Fox did is take the original songs and turn up the pitch, so the singers sounded like screeching banshees from the depths of hell. There is no parody, no lyric alteration. It's the same songs that were originally released, just make to sound like a eunuch on helium.

Now normally this wouldn't bother me, and for the most part, it still doesn't. They used songs by Pink and the Black Eyed Peas, so it wasn't like they were ruining anything good. Right? Wrong!

Beyonce's late 2008 hit 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)' was one of the butchered songs. A track that was ranked as the number two Best Song of the Decade in Rolling Stone magazine's Reader's Poll. The song also appeared at number 50 on the magazine's critics' list of the 100 Best Songs of the Decade. Now you may not know, but I love this song. There is a video, kept in a highly protected vault, of me drunkenly dancing to it. It is impossible not to love it. Not only is it a great song, but Beyonce is a chocolate goddess. And the dancing! Amazing! All done in a single take. In intense heels. Wow. It's still in the Aria Top 50 Singles chart for fucks sake. It's been there for 40 weeks!

Anyway, enough of me ranting about how much I love the song. Check this out. I hope it makes you cry.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The world around us.

Dear Mother Nature,

You are a dick. There, I said it. You're a dick. Why? So many reasons.

For starters, what the hell is with the birds that you have seen it fit to create that sound like they are being raped when they communicate? There is at least a handful of them that live near my house, and every night, without fail, they have a conversation. Except instead of sweetly singing, they howl into the night, moaning like there is a bigger bird having it's way with it. It makes no sense. The noise they make is terrifying, it sounds like the soundboard for a horror movie. And not a good one.

And speaking of rape, why do you make animals rape each other? Sure, I can understand humans, we're a fucked up lot. But that's because we have the mental capacity to think that stuff up. Monkeys I could even forgive, because they're like us only hairy. But ducks? Ducks raping each other? And not just regular rape, rape with giant spinning lasso penises. Dolphins do it as well, yet since they don't have the benefit of a cock twice the length of their body, they work in gangs and chase a female down until she is too exhausted to resist their advances. Then they all have sex with her.

What about all the animals you've created whose sole purpose it is to either suck the blood of other animals and or spread disease? Mosquitoes, leeches, ticks. Not only are they gross to look at, they're responsible for millions of deaths, both to humans and animals alike. Some animals are just violent for the sake of it. Like the tiny Amazonian fish (Candiru) that has made a name for itself by swimming up the penises of urinating explorers and then lodging itself in the urethra using tiny hooks. Or the 20-cent piece sizes Irukandji Jellyfish that is practically invisible but can kill a grown man in minutes. What purpose do either of those animals serve outside of making our lives difficult?

Finally, the plant kingdom. A Corpse Flower? Really? What compelled you to create a flower that stinks like rotting flesh? How about the cactus. Does it really need to be covered in spines? They grow in the god-damn desert, they've got it hard enough as it is. Yet you covered them in painful, often poisonous, spikes. Speaking of poisonous, what's with poison ivy, or any of the plants that have a cute little flower (Azalea and Daphne, I'm looking at you) yet cause nausea, paralysis and or death? Why make them look like every other flower? Are you trying to kill us?

Mother Nature, you are a dick.


Note: Everything I mentioned actually exists in nature. I'm going to provide links, but if you doubt me, look it up. I dare you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hard knock life.

Children's literature is apparently a tough market to crack. Kids have a rather brutal approach to what they like and don't like. If the book is good, they'll read it non-stop for a year. Everyone in their extended family will read it. They might even hold onto it for years, to give to their children one day. But if they hate it, then it is treated like rubbish. It can be used as anything from a napkin to a towel. But it wont be read.

Yet their books are complete rubbish. Bad watercolour paintings of what can only be described as nonsense. My favourite book was about a boy who played with cars. There was no character development, no plot twists. In fact, I could have been playing with cars myself and I would have had an exponentially more fun time. Yet that book was my favourite. I look back on it now and think what a waste of paper it was.

I've decided to devote my time to becoming a children's book reviewer. But I'm not going to dance around the tough issues. I don't care how easy it is for 5 year olds to read. I'm going to ask it the tough questions, the sort of critical eye that every other piece of literature gets subjected to.

To begin, 'Axel the Freeway Cat' by Thacher Hurd. (Read it online here.)

Straight off the bat, come up with a better pseudonym, Mr/s Author. That name sounds like a burp.

Now, Axel is a cat who lives under a freeway overpass, in a car body, in a muddy ditch. So Axel is an abandoned animal. And in the realm of abandoned animals, he's essentially a bum. Yes he seems happy. This book is teaching children that if they abandon their animals, they'll be fine, they'll just shack up under a freeway somewhere. Unfortunately, they are more likely to end up dead on the freeway than living under it.

But Axel is happy. Good for him. He wears clothes, eats breakfast and has a job apparently. This job? He picks up the litter on the side of the freeway and gets ignored by the drivers. Sounds like he's actually a convicted felon, because that's the sort of "job" they get criminals to do. While they're in prison. I believe they call them 'chain gangs'.

Still, Thacher maintains the illusion that Axel is happy, because Axel collects this rubbish. Including old food. Oh, and a harmonica, which he plays under the overpass. Axel is, without a doubt, a vagrant.

One day there is a big traffic jam and the reader learns that a little cat in a little red car is the cause of the disruption. Note that the cat is a female cat and she looks suspiciously like an old woman cat. Well done enforcing the stereotypes that old people and women are bad drivers Thacher.

Axel fixes the car, and the old woman invites him to take her car for a spin. Now I'm not sure if Axel even has his license, but apparently that's not an issue. It should be, because Axel speeds off into the sunset, driving dangerously for hours. Eventually he invites the old woman into his house (read: abandoned car body). Hear that kids? Invite strangers into your car, particularly ones that live under bridges. And then go back to their "house" for dinner.

Axel caps off a day of reckless driving by crashing through his own fence, vegetable patch and irrigation system. Nice, so whatever good work he'd done fixing the car has been undone. And when the old lady suggests they clean up? Axel just wants to have a drink of milk. I suspect there may be a dash of whisky in that milk.

The book then ends abruptly. Axel and his hostage have dinner and then jam for a while. And that's it. There is no message, no closure for the reader. What now? How does the old lady cat get home? What about her car? Is Axel going to suffer any consequences? I haven't learnt anything, particularly no valuable life lessons.

Thacher Hurt, if this was your fourth book, I am concerned about how bad the other three are.

I've been your cybrarian Tom, allow me to play you out...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Internet Hero 1: Ms. Moogoo

I spend a fair bit of time on this internet game. Some might say I spend too much time. I tell those people to shut up.

Occasionally I stumble across things that , in spite of all the ridiculous stuff I have seen and done, rock me to my very core. These are the hidden gems of the web, the monsters that Web 2.0 has created.

Any weirdo with a webcam and an internet connection can now proudly broadcast their insanity. There are those who say I should take pity on these nutbags, that they don't know what they're doing. I politely disagree.

These people are my heroes. They do the things I can or will not do, whether through my own physical or mental limitations, or simply because I was not quick enough to capitalise on whatever brilliant idea they are gloriously riding through their 15 minutes of fame.

Tonight I offer to you my first hero of the internet...


Hosted by

"Who is this beautiful creature?" you ask? According to her YouTube profile, she's a 27-year-old (my, what a youthful figure she has) American woman who loves her "Online Boyfriend And All Of My Friends In The Whole Wide World Thanx For Being The Greatest Online Boyfriend And Friends In The Whole Wide World To Me." Got that?

Tosh enjoys her dog Bo (cutie!), pimping out her hair (she's got a top ponytail and a wicked single braid) and singing. Not just any singing mind you, she mumbles along to R'n'B which I can only assume is pumping through her headphones. However, like the pop-stars of old, Tosh cleverly provides no backing track for herself, so each video is a 6-minute operetta of the chubbiest proportions. Oh, and something called 'Stickam'.

To illustrate, Tosh flawlessly covers 'Ms. New Booty' by Bubba Sparxxx featuring the Ying Yang Twins and Mr. Collipark.

Notice how even though she introduces the song as "Ms. New Booty" she insists on singing "Ms. Moogoo" throughout the entirety of the clip. Clever girl.

ToshBabyBoo... My Hero.