Chris On…

This is a brief segment of “Chris On…” this time around. Here are my thoughts on Family Guy.

Ok, so I love the first three seasons (especially season two), but after that the show started to jump the shark. Not totally bad and in fact seasons four and five had its fair share of good episodes, but they were nowhere near the quality of seasons one through three. After that, the show went down hill and I have not been a fan since. I feel like they have pandered to a younger and perhaps dumber audience (though I am not insinuating that young people or little kids are stupid). There was always an element of silliness to FG, but it was mixed smoothly with witty, well-written, and often culture referenced jokes. True, not all of that was suspended following season three, but we saw less of it and more of the childish and sometimes plain unfunny bits. Not to sound like an elitist scumfuck, but it appears that FG was in its hey day when a much smaller audience (including me) adored the show and the writers did not have as much of a market or demographic to satisfy. In other words, the show became more of a Family Guy trying to hard to be Family Guy kind of deal. With legions of fans nowadays (most of whom became viewers in the later seasons) I seriously doubt they will ever return to their old form. Lastly, one of the most irritating reasons I disdain the later seasons is attributed to the God Awful sound of their voices. It boggles my mind how few people pick up on this or can at least put up with it. Just watch these two videos and you will notice the difference.

Season 3

and
Season 6

Chris On…

Gangsta Rap and Hip Hop in General:
There are many aspects of (QUALITY) Rap and Hip-Hop that I love, but two things have always stood out to me more than anything: 1) The harshness in the lyrics, sometimes sound, and most definitely the delivery. This is what I adored in old school Gangsta Rap groups like N.W.A. and Wu-Tang Clan, amongst several others. In general, I really have an affinity for confrontational art and these artists certainly got the job done and scared all the White Folks. 2) The dark, caustic and occasionally absurdist humor that one can find in said harsh lyrics. One of the first rap songs I ever heard that hit me hard was Eminem’s “My Name Is,” I saw its video on MTV when it was “Brand Spankin’ New” at the wholesome age of 8. I then went out and purchased the entire record. I fell in love with the Slim Shady “character.” I was frightened and simultaneously amused. And the rest is history… Nowadays, I don’t like as many rap artists, especially those that call themselves “Gangsta Rap.” Now, it could just be my taste and I’m sure there are plenty of awesome underground rappers, but certainly the state of mainstream hip hop has taken a turn for the worse in the past 10-15 years or so. Modern rappers that I dig include Immortal Technique, Dead Prez, and Necro. All of those artists have been around for a while however, but they are still holding the intimidating/militant character of rap music/culture that I cherish. I’m sure there are others out there as I already said, but they simply haven’t caught my attention; rap/hip-hop is a style of music I enjoy, but makes up a small percentage of my eartime. Anyway, in mainstream hip pop the production is far too clean, commerical and the songs are just poppy dance numbers. Really wimpy, pussy shit. Even people like L’il Wayne do very little to nothing for me. ME! I’m a privileged, little, white suburbanite that knows nothing of “street life” and has no gangsta credibillity whatsover (don’t want any for that matter) and yet these supposedly tough guys on the radio do not initmidate me with their craft. There’s nothing threatening about it. I’m sure in real life they are “tough,” but with their music they have no balls. In short, for me Hip-Hop shares the same story as Rock and Roll, but in way less time and far less pleasing too my taste, albeit some very classic material. It’s like both started out as small, underground, regionally based, black music that was threatening and rebellious to white people. The style became popular and hit the mainstream, then matured (sonically, lyrically, aesthetically,etc), then slowly became more and more mainstream until there was a massive chasm between commercial and underground Hip Hop, with the former sucking massive Corporate Cock. The only thing is the Rock story lasted way longer (Early 50s- Mid 70s- started to go downhill in the mainstream) than Hip Hop (Early 80s- Early-Mid 90s). I know I know Hip Hop technically started wayyyy before then, but it didn’t really take off until the early 80s. So, in other words to the silly Mainstreamers out there in Rap and/or Rock and Roll, in the fine words of N.W.A. “EAT SHIT AND DIE!”

Chris On…

The Work of Harmony Korine : Recently I have had a growing fascination for the work of writer, director, producer, actor, etc, Harmony Korine. I’ll be up front right now, I have only seen one of his feature films: Gummo (1997), his directorial debut, which I reviewd a couple of months back. I have also been a huge fan of the film Kids (1995) for years, but Korine only wrote the script, it was directed by Larry Clark, nonetheless a classic that highly recommend y’all check out. Since, viewing the bizarre (to say the least) Gummo I wanted to dig more into the psyche of its creator. Why does he make such strange, really distubring films? and more importantly how does he do it?! Well, reading up a bit more on Korine and seeing some hilarious interviews of him, especially on Letterman :), I discovered the man believes that film as an art is dead and that there has been very little progression in its history. Therefore, he makes films that he has never seen done before. His tactics include non linear storylines (Gummo had no real plot, but consisted of various vignettes), using non actors (often asking random folks if they wanted to be in his flick), and giving his actors (or non actors lol) different scripts, so they are confused with what they are working with, to the extent that they believe they are working on different films, as well as other unconventional methods. Two particular qualities stand out to me about his work. Once again, I have only seen Gummo , but even based on trailers of Mister Lonely (2007) and Trash Humpers (2009), you get a feel for what his films are like in general; previews are enough! Anyway, firstly, imagery is incredibly strong in his movies. Usually for me, one thing that makes a film really great is how memorable it is. With Korine you are bombarded with numerous, highly memorable images. Even if you don’t want to remember them! He simply has a knack for capturing off kilter, unsettling, images that burn deep in your brain for months and more. Even with his trailers, the images are so unusual that they are etched in your psyche for an undetermined amount of time. Every now and then I view a trailer and as time goes by, I vaguely remember what I saw. The images of goons literally humping trash and driving around wearing weird masks from his latest picture, Trash Humpers (2009) is still on my mind and will be for quite some time, I imagine. I’ve read that Korine sees his films as successful, if someone walks away with a lasting image. Well, I guess he has succeeded admirably. Secondly, I really dig the way he does not create intentional meanings behind his works. Most artists intentionally develop some morals and themes in their stories, but not old Harmony. He sees this as “belittling” to the viewer. Thus, the audience can sit back and interpret whatever they like from the mess (I mean that in the best possible sense of the word, which I suppose is ironic, considering I am now explaining my intentions on how awesome it is for an artist not to explain their intentions, go figure). Unlike, most other films, his works do not comfortably hold your hand and cross the street with you. It’s more like you’re dodging oncoming traffic during Rush Hour! Overall, if you are a fan of film, especially, unique, artsy films, then it is a must for you to see at least one of Korine’s films. But, I will give you a heads up, they are not your average “indie” flick that serves as a minor departure from the mainstream, like Eternal Sunshine (2004), which don’t get me wrong, is a great and strange film, but still maintains a mainstream quality, at least compared to Korine’s work. His movies are totally devoid of anything mainstream. Therefore, some people might be turned off by their intense, sometimes, morbid nature. Well, too bad for those poor souls cause they will be missing out on some of the most original art I have ever seen.

Chris On…

The “Fall of the Roman Empire.”: I saw one documentary on the history of Rock and Roll in which Pete Townshend was asked about the music of the 70s and he commented that it was the “Fall of the Roman Empire.” My interpretation is that he was saying that Rock and Roll was the equivalent of the Roman Empire in its own way and that by the 70s it had completely plummeted. It began in the 50s as rebellious, black music with strong black roots that crossed over into white america and broke down the color barrier, to an extent. It was something that belonged to kids and not their parents. This continued in the 60s as the music progressed and expanded, which I won’t get into here. Much of popular music matured, sonically and lyrically, with artists developing a social consciousness and often expressing such sentiments through their songs. I suppose one could point to Woodstock, being the pinacle of this era. The early 70s served simultaneously as the leftover of the 60s as well as the precursor for what would come next. By this time Rock was losing its soul, slowly becoming a big business game. Technically, it had corporate backing most of the time since it’s creation, but the word “corporate” began to come up in association with Rock music more and more. Cameron Crowe’s film, Almost Famous (2000) takes place in 1973 and nicely chronicles these final days of the orignal empire of Rock and Roll, as it was dying. Then it was recessitated via Punk and what have you, but that’s a whole other story…

More Chris ONs a comin….

Chris

Chris On…

Gross Out Videos/Pictures In the Online Age: In my last edition of “Chris On…” I observed the distinctions between high and low culture, well here we have perhaps the lowest of cultures: Shock Sites. But, without a doubt it is a burgeoning subculture and has had an impact on our entire culture as a whole. Perhaps it all began with the projectile vomit inducing “Tub Girl,” I don’t recommend you check this out unless you want to be sick to your stomach. That was the Gone With the Wind for disgusting media. Since then you have your Lemon Parties, Pain Olympics, and the chick that farts out peanut butter and other shit lol, I forget the name, but yeah it’s all there. Oh and who could forget the most notorious, the Casablanca of the genre, if you will, Two Girls, One Cup. So, are these vile videos an impending sign of decline in Western Civilization? or is it merely the tech age’s opportunity to profit on centuries of repulsing fetishes by posting it in the privacy of everyone’s home? I’d say a little bit of both. Personally, I do not in any way, “get off” ahaha on these little ditties of sexual macabre, but at the same time they sure are intriguing and in some bizarre way worth analyzing! Even more importantly, it’s worth observing others’ reactions to such videos, funnier too! All in all, it’s nice to get a cheap and crude laugh, if at least once. And believe me, with said genre, you most likely won’t come back for more! Finally, I’ll admit, I am one to partake in the voyeristic journey of “how far will this go?” video and apparently I’m not alone, as millions of Americans, from young to old, are viewing the latest,”dude, this shit is nasty, you gotta check it out!” as we speak. What this specifically, does to our culture is a whole other story…

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Mumia Abu-Jamal: I bet it seems pretty odd that I shift from discussing an extremely wacky topic like videos displaying coprophillia and emetophillia to an infinitely more serious topic, such as the jeopardy and constant abuse of one man’s life, but that’s how it works here with “Chris On…” With that being said, I actually did make an attempt to connect certain topics from the last post, i.e. death penalty to Mumia. Mumia Abu-Jamal is an excellent “journalist” and/or commentator on current affiairs and essentially how this system is completely fucked up and filled to the brim with injustice, as he is living (possibly not for long :() proof of this. His courage and dedication to “waking up” the public and specifically blacks is a massive inspiration. Oh, did I forget to mention, that he is (and has been for nearly thirty years) wrongfully sitting on death row?! Over the years, his conviction has been reviewed and appeald throughly for it’s undeniable flaws, but the Cracker Courts, won’t let up. In a nutshell, Mumia was charged with the murder of a police officer, Daniel Faulkner and subsequently was given an unfair trial, clearly marked with prejudice. Whether he committed the crime or not, is insignifcant, even though I don’t think he did. There is not enough evidence to point to him. And let’s say that he did?! Just for the fun of it; Mumia, himself was wounded by Faulkner’s gunshot. I’d bet all my money that if Mumia was the one that died, Faulker would be a free man. In other words, even if Mumia did kill him, isn’t that self-defense. But, no a Black Man is inferior to a White Cop in the White Courts of White America. You can say that’s playing the “race card,” but how come it’s not playing the “race card” when black people are given an all white jury? The Constitution entitles us to the right of a “jury of one’s peers.” Now, I need to do more research, cause I don’t know for sure if Mumia’s trial had all white jurors, but I have a positive feeling it did. Either way, FREE MUMIA!

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The Recent Surge Of Often Untimely, But Not Always the Case, But Still Sad Celeberty and Not So Famous to Use That Term, But Still Vital To The Arts Deaths… PHEW!: Jay Reatard, Howard Zinn, J.D. Salinger, Bobby Ubangi, Patrick Swayze (not as cool as the others, but still, worth mentioning lol), Farrah Fawcett, Billy Mays, Carol Chomsky, and I apologize if I forgot anyone else, feel free to comment on others. Yeah, so I don’t give a fuck about MJ or Teddy Kennedy! Hahaha! Yeah, I know the sancitty of life and all that jazz, but if they weren’t famous then they would not receive the same amount of respect and grief. I’m not happy their dead, but in the grand scheme of things, people die all the time, so I don’t feel particuarly saddened when some criminals die. We did however lose some folks that seriously meant something to me! Chiefly, the most shocking, Jay Reatard, my favorite singer and one of the most promising artists of the past decade. He is sorely missed for his intensely catchy music and high energy live shows. On the same token, other fun rockin guys in Bobby Ubangi left us far too soon as well. Bobby played alongside the great, Jared Swilley in the Gaye Blades and had his own solo material, both of which were nothing short than brilliant bubble gum pop magic. He will be “Forever” remembered for his “Dirty Hands.” Hahah. Now, for Howard Zinn and J.D. Salinger, perhaps these deaths were not as untimely and therefore not as shocking, but certainly not less important in any way. I didn’t really follow Salinger all that much, but his most famous work, The Catcher In the Rye is my favorite book of all time and has strongly influenced countless writers including myself. Mr. Zinn was the highest model citizen and always discussed politics, history and various social issues in terms of how it meant to the “people.” His works and speeches have had a major influence on my own views and writing. Check out “My Main Influences” post for further reading. And of course, fame doesn’t measure value, so we must remember those who have died in Haiti and still suffer. Alas, we don’t mention them all that much here on the KLYAM, but that doesn’t mean we do not care about them.

Chris

Chris On…

Lady Gaga: Not as outrageous and monstrous as the big corporate creatures would like you to believe. Her whole shock thang is nothing new. Her purpose is to creep you out and creep you in again lol and she succeeds and loves it. But, there’s nothing triumphant about that. It’s like Madonna’s sex book, created solely for attention and to prove that sex sells. WELL NO SHIT! Do you know what country your in? Might as well go crazy and make a wild, cutting edge porno while you are trying to “dupe” us into buying your filth, instead of some risque black and white photos. Well, now I’ve digressed from the original topic, Ms. Gaga. Can’t believe I’m writing that retarded name. I’ll admit, I do find her sexy in her bizarre weirdo costumes, but her music still severely sucks and her act reminds me of a bad version of Alice Cooper (who I’m a huge fan of musically and theatrically), especially her performance at last week’s Grammys, which I watched in Cultural Studies class. I hate when folks rave about how wild she is and what not. Consider most of the bands we champion on here… need I say more? Alas, she’s a mere pawn in the corporate gangbang. Who isn’t?!

Death Penalty: I would never give the state the power to execute an individual. Are you outta your fucking minds?! Horrible idea. Yes, I know some fuckers truly deserve to be dead and in fact perhaps deserve a far worse death than a pussy injection. But, in the grand scheme of things it’s not just. I agree human life should be valued, but I don’t necessarily see it as the most inhumane concept either. My contention is why let some fucks die and let even worse mass murderers get away scott free and live happily ever after? Of course I am speaking of various powerful, political figures, namely those at the top like the Commander in Chief. The Chief torturer of the world. The Chief terrorist of the world. So, in other words, abolish the death penalty and FREE MUMIA IMMEDIATELY!!!

High Art Vs. Pop/Low Art: Ohh Che, you cute, pop superstar! The photo is courtesy of Mr. Andy Warhola lol. What is high art/culture and what is low/art culture? Well, these terms mean different things to different people. Some say Beethoven’s symphony is high art made for the intellectually inclined few and the fast bubblegum blasting rock of the Ramones is low art made for the uneducated masses. Perhaps, but to me such distinctions as high and low is far too elitist. I prefer to north and south and east and west and up and down and all around and do the naked hoola dance and if it’s grooving, I’ll keep moving, and if it’s slime, it ain’t worth my time.

Chris

Chris On…

This is a new series in which I briefly reveal my main views on various issues/topics. So, here’s Chris on

Welfare: In a perfect world there will be no welfare and the wealth will be perfectly distributed and everyone will contribute something positive to society. Well, we’re not quite there yet haha. Many people need it and then many others take advantage of the system, so I understand why most people have a big beef about it. Unfortunately, folks don’t see the real enemy; we should be more infuriated at the government for stealing our hard earned money and funding mass murder, oil thirsty, campaigns amonst other heinous crimes against humanity. Also, Americans never mention corporate welfare, which needs to be cut immediately as Ralph Nader declared. Most likely they are unaware of the greatest “welfare cheats,” the major corporations perhaps because the corporate media will not report it.

G.G. Allin: He was a vile, John Wayne Gacey wannabe, loser. He was the man you love to hate, with good reason. Musically, the songs were average to below average, with exceptions. I enjoy the exceptions far more than some talented pussy, singer-songwriter like John Mayer, who is perhaps “better” than Jesus Christ Allin, but doesn’t give me the kicks. GG was sadistic, but in a savagely hilrarious way. Completely unique and committed to doing whatever the fuck he felt like doing at that moment, whether it be relieving himself on stage, smearing shit all over his body, and then throwing the remnants at his audience, or marrying a teenage, die hard, fan! This quality, as strange as it sounds, is incredibly admirable and it is unfortunate that he didn’t use his fearlessness in a constructive manner. Oh well, I suppose being a complete, sociopathic, meance to society is infinitely more fascinating.

Taste In Females: Well, this is for looks only and I have other tastes, but these are my strongest preferences. Dirty blonde hair, blue/green eyes, rosy red cheeks, long, pinkish/light red tonuge, tight jeans sporting a nice little butt, akin to Holden’s descriptiong of Sally Hayes’ tush at the skating rink! “Che Tits” I’ll let your mind wander on that one ahaha. I bet whatever images conjure up in your psyche is better than me explaining my deal. And how could I forget BIG BLACK BOOTS!!! :) Lord knows I have a strange fetish for this article of clothing. I actually dig other colored boots, but particularly black. When I see a good pair on some fine, young thing it’s like a beatiful whiplash! Now, inner beaty, that’s a whole other story, too complicated for just a few lines.

Chris