Thursday, August 31, 2006

Blogging the MTV Idiot Music Awards

Ah, the pop culture event of the summer is upon us. MTV gets people together to hand out the VMA's. Now, from the world communication hindquarters, it's time for some blogging. Follow along, will you? And if you are, let me know.

A little required reading first.

(All times central)

6:15 pm: Watching the pre-show. Kurt Loder is starting to look like he's about 70. He's actually 61. John Norris has never been cool. The entire crowd is shrieking. And now, Nick Lachey is being interviewed. And they're showing a collage of moments with him and Jessica Simpson. He's gonna see it on re-run and want to punch someone. The VJ guy actually asked him if he would feel awkward walking past J-Simp. Ummmm, yeah...

6:20 pm: Virgin Mobile just ran a commercial on "the power of the penny." Yay, I get to make my first K-Fed reference of the night! Also, MTV has completely sold out. The performances are brought to us by Chevy or something like that.

6:23 pm: Another shameless Chevy plug. And another one, as they tell us that GM provided something called a "fuel efficient SUV." Now they're interviewing the All-American Rejects on the car. Christina Aggalera just showed up. Dear God, she's going to have like 5 awards tonight.

6:27 pm: Fitty Cent and LL Kool J are making a video together. LL Kol J is trying to pretend that he is still relevant.

6:28 pm: Has it really been 11 years? Am I that old?

6:30 pm: John Norris tries to stump Kurt Loder. Kurt can't hear over the screaming. He's getting too old. My Chemical Romance is doing something. I just don't know what. They apparently wrote a "rock opera" called "The Black Parade". It must describe the red carpet at the VMAs. (Yeah, I went there...)

6:33 pm: Oh dear, overly dramatic and pretentious concept album coming out. However, the song sounds pretty good, and if it works, you're currently watching one of those pieces of history that everyone will remember. At least those who believe that history happens on MTV.

Like me.

6:36 pm: What's with the skeletons in the background? Is anyone else flashing back to Karate Kid? Has this song gone on for about 3 minutes too long?

6:44 pm: Paris Hilton is talking! Popozao! I don't know if she's looked in the mirror judging by her hair. Or if she's seen There's Something About Mary

6:46 pm: Kurt Loder is grilling the Killers. He looks like he's drunk. This is getting embarassing. Cut to John Norris and Chrissie Aggalera getting ready. Proof that Loder botched that. Chrissie needs to know that she is not Marilyn Monroe.

6:49 pm: I have MTV's much vaunted "Behind the Scenes Uncensored" feed on my computer. It's TV feed with a 7 second delay suggesting that there is indeed the possibility that it will be censored. Now, they're showing a group of people sitting there chatting nervously. I think one of them is Rev. Run of Run DMC.

6:52 pm: The VMAs have a way of doing opening acts up good. We all remember this, and I remember this. I couldn't find the original opening act from 1984 (Madonna doing "Like a Virgin" which basically launched her career.) Anyone remember this?

6:55 pm: John Norris told Diddy and Yung Joc that they can't smoke on camera. Here's to the MTV rebellious spirit.

7:00 pm: And here we go...

7:01 pm: ... with Justin Timberlake. Soon, they'll have the stamp wars "Broccoli Justin" vs. "Crewcut Justin".

7:03 pm: How did Justin Timberlake say "How you doing NY?", when he was also singing. Could it be a lip sync?

7:04 pm: SexyBack sounds really bad live. This is also a painfully obvious lip sync.

7:06 pm: Dear God, he's trying to beatbox... off beat! This is not a promising start.

7:09 pm: "This shows been laying farts for the last 20 years and I'm going to light the match." Ah, Jack Black.

7:11 pm: Montel Williams?

7:12 pm: This is falling in the "so self-awaredly awkward and bad that it's so good but tomorrow, you'll say 'that was really bad' " category.

7:13 pm: Will anyone who watches MTV gonna understand who Lou Reed is? What was the point of having the Racounteurs play for a minute?

7:15 pm: Ah, Lil' Kim is making a mockery of herself. Yes, we know, you went to jail! She's presenting for Best Male Video. It's clear she hasn't been in front of a camera in a while.

Male Video: Rhymes, Lachey, Blunt, T.I., Kanye
My Pick: T.I.

7:17 pm: James Blunt won? James Blunt? What were the voters smoking? Anyone want to make the joke?

7:20 pm: The behind-the-scenes coverage is dying. They spent three minutes vamping waiting for James Blunt. This is getting really really awkward.

7:24 pm: Back to Black, who introduces Andre 3000 and Ciara for Best Hip Hop Video.

Hip-Hop Video: Black Eyed Peas, Kanye, Common, 36Mafia, Daddy Yankee
My Pick: 36Mafia

7:26 pm: Black Eyed Peas wins. My wife just got home. She's asking me what I want for dinner. Now, she's singing My Humps. BEP's such a guilty pleasure. But, will someone tell me why there's a Hip Hop, Rap, and R&B video award?

7:29 pm: I think we're having Black Eyed Peas for dinner. This is what happens when you try to do two things at once.

7:31 pm: Shakira is in a belly dancing dress. But, she's shaking her ass. She's Colombian, not Morrocan. I'd make a joke about "Shake Ya Ass, is he Morrocan?" but no one would get it except my wife.

7:34 pm: The guys from Jackass are promoting their movie by shocking each other and laughing hysterically. There should be a law against this. Maybe we should reconsider that whole Free Speech thing.

7:38 pm: MTV is apparently launching MTV 3, or shall we say MTV Tres. Apparently, they'll show endless re-runs of Pimp My Ride and the Real World dubbed into Spanish.

7:41 pm: Fitty and LL Kool J are back at it. They're introduced by the bodyless house announcer. Why is Jack Black here tonight? They're apparently here to do Best Female Video, and they are filling time.

Female Video: Aggalera, Furtado, Clarkson, Shakira, Madonna
My Pick: Chrissie

7:44 pm: Kelly Clarkson? I suppose she's already got a fan base that is used to voting for her in large numbers. But, it falls flat because she's not there tonight.

And I'm 0-for-3. Kelly Clarkson won and the world is ending. Next thing, Kevin Federline will win for best anything.

7:45 pm: Lil' John just said something, but I have no idea what. Perhaps I shall now go and get crunk. He's introduced a completely irrelevant rap song, I think by Ludacris. I can't understand what they're saying either. The sad thing is that I work with kids, and they all listen to rap.

7:49 pm: The Pussycat Dolls just randomly show up on stage. Take a look at this... scary, huh?

7:52 pm: Sarah Silverman: "Space Travel is like the Liza Minelli of... travel." MTV is now plugging the behind the scenes thing for the 1034559809685634th time. We get it.

This night is waiting for a David Ortiz of the music business to save the game late.

7:59 pm: Jessica Simpson is apparently wearing a onesy. And she's... failing at life. I thought she lost her voice. Apparently, she's presenting best Dance Video:

Dance Video: Madonna, Sean Paul, Furtado, Shakira, Pussycat Dolls
My Pick: Pussycat Dolls

8:01 pm: I finally get one right! PCD and Snoop D-O-Double-G wins. Snoop Dogg sits in the audience and looks bored. Someone should spice up his life. The lead singer of PCD just thanked God for being here. I think all six of them are going to say something. This speech is going on for about 4 minutes too long. And for some reaosn, the word "Pants" was in the background. Will someone explain this?

8:04 pm: Chris Brown sends another shout out to the beind the scenes thing. He introduces OK Go! who are dancing on treadmills that say "OK Go". This is just strange enough to be amusing. It's amazing what YouTube has done with our culture's idea of entertainment.

8:08 pm: Where did my wife go?

8:13 pm: Another Jackass stunt with a grown man having a lobster clamp onto his tongue. Now, this is entertainment.

8:15 pm: Jack Black finally makes a funny. Welcome the world's most attractive producer of independent film. Paris Hilton.

8:18 pm: All-American Rejects are giving an honestly good performance of a pretty good song. I'm impressed.

8:19 pm: Nick Lachey and Nicole Richie are presenting together. Why is that funny? Best Pop Video Time.

Pop Video: Chrissie, Pink, Madonna, Shakira, Furtado
My Pick: Shakira

Please be Pink!

8:21 pm: SHE WON! But, she completely screwed up. She... acted like a stupid girl. I take back all the good things I said about her. I'm back to pissed at her for stealing the idea from Garbage.

8:25 pm: A minute-long commercial in which a bunch of guys chase after a woman and all sorts of stunts ensue. It's apparently for JC Penny. My wife and I just gave each other "the look". The "what the hell" look.

8:29 pm: Here's Snoop Dogg. He brought his drink and I think he just belched into the mic. After praising the nominees for best rap video for their rhyming prowess, he rhymes "win it" with "kick it". Thanks.

Rap Video: Fitty, T.I., Rhymes, Yung Joc, Chamillionaire
My Pick: Yung Joc

8:32 pm: Chamillionaire wins. And now he's thanking God.

8:34 pm: And now a controversial moment! 20/20 apparently cancelled an interview with him on police racial profiling?

Right after that, a bunch of police sirens go off! What could have been a poignant moment is swallowed in an unintentional moment of irony, and now Beyonce is doing something or other. The MTV generation moves on.

8:36 pm: I need to take my meds. I've had an ear infection this week.

8:43 pm: I won an EBay auction! I won a bunch of old baseball sticker albums from the 1980s!

8:45 pm: And now the technical VMAs
Best direction: Gnarls Barkley (YES! Amazing video!)
Choreography: Shakira (makes sense)
Special effects: Missy Elliot?

8:48 pm: Why do all rap songs live sound like a bunch of adolescents yelling in an incoherent monotone? Why is there a children's choir backing up TI?

8:50 pm: I think I figured it out. This is the Jackass version of the awards. Not only are there actual shout outs to Jackass, but the entire idea of everything has been, "This is so stupid and weird that c'mon it's funny. OK, here's a guy electrocuting himself."

Jared Leto made Amy Lee blush. They're doing Best Group Video. "Music is like sex. You can do it solo, or... you can do it with a group." Hehehe.

Group Video: All American Rejects, Panic!, Fall Out Boy, Chili Peppers, Gnarls Barkley
My Pick: Panic!

8:54 pm: All-American Rejects win and they look genuinely shocked. And drunk. But, genuinely shocked. My wife quotes Almost Famous, "I'm on drugs!"

9:00 pm: MTV is doing ring tone of the year? Why didn't I know that one? Fort Minor (aka Linkin Park) won. He's reading an entire list of people that makes him sound like Michael Stipe in "It's the End of the World as we Know It (And I Feel Fine)" He didn't thank LEON-ARD-BERN-STEIN, though

9:05 pm: MTV decided that what the world needs is to hear Picnic! at the Disk-Oh! again. They're performing their video on stage. It's got that Fiddler on the Roof feel to it. I apparently blog sins and tragedies.

9:09 pm: DaMarcus Beasley has moved to Manchester City from PSV. Fergie is onstage... and brings out a 9-year-old who's dancing to Superfreak. MTV has sunk to a new low. Time for Best New Artist in a Video.

New Artist: Angels & Airwaves, Blunt, Avenge Sevenfold, Panic!, Chris Brown, Rihanna
My Pick: Angels

9:12 pm: My wife is singing the London Bridge song in honor of Fergie. The nine-year old clearly has no idea who Avenged Sevenfold is, but they just won. The guy from Avenge Sevenfold thanks MTV for "still having a place for rock music on the station." Ah, the racial politics of MTV. Now, this could be a dissertation unto itself. Panties to politics in four sentences. You're on the Foreign Intelligence Files (FIF for short.)

9:17 pm: I just looked back. I'm 1-for-8 in my predictions. Some harbinger of pop culture I am.

9:21 pm: Well, that fell flat. And it's time for Best R&B Video.

R&B Video: Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Chris Brown, Mary Blige, Jamie Foxx
My Pick: Mariah Carey

9:23 pm: Beyonce wins. (I'm 1-for-9) She too thanks God. When did MTV start hosting the 700 Club? Now that would be interesting.

9:25 pm: Hype Williams is getting the Video Vanuguard Award, and Kanye West is comparing him to Andy Worhol and Picasso. We're now watching a fish-eyed retrospective. Ugh.

9:27 pm: And now in a move that makes no sense whatsoever, African dancers in neon glowing face paint are charging the stage... ahhh... Busta Rhymes is re-enacting one of his videos. Live.

9:30 pm: Hype Williams, of course, immediately thanks God. And apparently everyone he knows.

9:33 pm: Sarah Silverman is addressing Federline Award winner Paris Hilton. Am I the only one that doesn't understand her? Is she funny? Someone tell me this.

9:42 pm: "Ladies and gentlemen, Christina Aggalera"... God, help us all.

9:45 pm: There's something wrong with Christina Aggalera's microphone. I think it's the voice that's going into it. Sweetheart, it's called a key. Use it.

9:46 pm: Lou Reed and Pink? I know MTV does one of these every year, but what's with the sudden fascination with Lou Reed? Best Rock Video upcoming.

Rock Video: 30 seconds to Mars, Panic!, Chili Peppers, Green Day, AFI
My Pick: Panic!

Is it just me or is this awards show turning into a rock vs. rap/r&b passive aggressive fight. Lou Reed takes the second shot of the night at MTV for not playing more rock.

9:49 pm: AFI wins. Their video reminded me of a neo-Nazi rally. That's never a good sign.

9:51 pm: The Raconteurs are playing with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. Will someone please flash to Snoop Dogg and ask if he knows who ZZ Top is. This is fantastic stuff, but everyone looks very confused.

9:53 pm: Best moment of the night, completely unintentional, I think. Going into the commercial break, the following appeared on the screen.

Coming Up Next:
Al Gore
The Killers

Someone find me the screenshot.

9:56 pm: Why is Al Gore even there?

9:58 pm: BEP is presenting an award for the Best Hip-Hop/Rap Fusion Video. So, we now have a Rap video, Hip Hop video... wait, this is a set up.

10:00 pm: I don't get this. Yes, it's Tenacious D. But, then again, I just never understood Jack Black. This is the sort of performance that makes me think twice about wanting to see his next movie.

10:02 pm: MTV is pushing the Jackass movie with all its might. They present the Viewers' Choice.

Viewers’ Choice: Chris Brown, Rihanna, Fall Out Boy, Shakira, Clarkson
My Pick: Fall Out Boy

10:04 pm: And Fall Out Boy wins! They have now officially been removed from all college radio playlists, because they're now too mainstream. (My second correct pick of the night!)

10:07 pm: Queen Latifah introduces Al Gore. Al Gore is at the VMAs. The only thing that could make this any more stranger is if Michael Jackson showed up.

10:09 pm: What was the point of having Al Gore there tonight? He's as wooden as ever. This show is getting to be like the movie Bride and Prejudice. The only thing left is to see what else can fall flat.

10:15 pm: The Raconteurs are covering "Video Killed the Radio Star". Here comes Video of the Year. Presented by Jennifer Lopez, dressed like a nun in go-go boots.

Video of the Year: Chrissie, Chili Peppers, Madonna, Shakira & Wyclef, Panic!
My Pick: Chrissie

10:18 pm: And the winner is... Panic! At the Disco!

Yeah, that about sums it up. I think I am officially old.

10:21 pm: Why do artists always say, "This was completely unexpected", but always have 50 people that they thank? And, now for no particular reason, here's Axl Rose, looking like David Crosby. What the hell happened to him?

10:24 pm: The Killers are closing the show with a song called "When You Were Young." How fitting. No love for Madonna, the Peppers, Green Day, Busta Rhymes, Mariah Carey... all the old veterans.

10:27 pm: And so ends the 2006 VMAs. It was bad. It was horridly bad. And MTV cuts to John Norris of the bad dye job. How bad was it? It had Al Gore. The motto of the night was "Well, that didn't work."

10:30 pm: In the first after-show interview, we found out that Beyonce ate a blue Jolly Rancher.

10:32 pm: Time to cut it off at this point. MTV's directorial difficulties are just downright painful to watch.

Half-eaten egg salad sandwhiches for sale

From the "Things my wife says" file:

"So, one of my Sims was having an affair. Then, his wife died and he married the mistress the next day and had a baby. But, his wife became a ghost and was haunting his house. Then, he resurrected his wife from the dead, but when she came back, both women were mad and walked out and now he just has the baby. That's OK though. All he really wanted was kids."

Don't ask.

This week's theme:

Ever wonder what ALF did after the show ended?
(Maybe he should have stuck with this instead. Or even more bizarrely...)

On to the news:

This story isn't really all that interesting except for the fact that we find out that there's a British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
(Two words: Revolutionary War)

Life imitates art.
(If you can call Tom Hanks an artist nowadays.)

Want a sandwhich half-eaten by Federline-Award (Popoazo!) winner Britney Spears?
(BONUS: You get a corn-dog half eaten by K-Fed himself! Yes, I'll give you the link.)

Bright, shiny objects:

Lions call out for dinner delivery.
(Speedy delivery, eh?)

More scenes from my wedding.
(The actual story is much funnier.)

And now a word from our sponsors:

Thematic. But apparently slightly altered.
(At least that's not how I remember it.)

Today's fun fact:

Can animals get VD?
(I wonderwhat the motivation behind this question was.)

And finally:

VMA's tonight. I'll be there. Join me at 8/7 Central for live, exclusive FIF coverage from the World Communication Hindquarters here at FIF.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Don't download this blog

Another trip to Walgreens. Another sign that the apocalypse is nigh. They have Halloween candy out. OK, I've come to understand that the Christmas shopping season begins somewhere around July, but Halloween... Who in their right mind buys candy two months in advance?

Things my wife says:

I told her I'd give her a section of her own. Not that she doesn't have a whole blog of her own. Anyway, today, I was driving her home from work when she mentioned that she needed to make a dentist appointment in the near future. Then she wondered aloud, "Would a gay dentist be a tooth fairy?"

This week's theme:

There comes a time in every star's life in which s/he has to realize that the only chance that they have of staying in the public eye is taking really stupid gigs. They'll never actually recapture their stardom, but they just can't give up. (see Bradshaw, Terry)

But, then what are the rules on this for midgets in alien suits? Is this:
1) Nostalgia
2) A pathetic attempt to hang on to a fading career
3) Not funny to begin with, so there's nothing to recapture
4) Amazingly funny

I'm confused myself.

On to the news:

Headline: Nine hurt in fight over pigeon
(Yeah, that's my species!)

Barbie's got a new dog that... poops.
(You can buy it here. The dog looks like it's on drugs.)

Hamburglar on the loose

Bright, shiny objects:

Weird Al's new song and video!!!!!!!!
(If you only click on one link today, make it this one. The man has a new album coming out. And it's already sparking controversy.)

Manhole guard
(Use your clean mind.)

And now a word from our sponsors:

Need to learn English?
(Someone call Governor Arnold)

Today's Fun Fact:

The tomato is the world's most popular fruit.
(Learn more here)

And finally:

Is it bad that I'm obsessed with this song?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hugging Cows in Switzerland

My wife got herself The Sims 2 for her birthday. She's been playing it ever since. Last night, she was trying to show me how it was that Sims had sex. If you've played the game, you know what what I'm talking about. If you don't, it's a funny statement out-of-context. In fact, don't actually go out and find out what we're talking about, because the context cheapens how funny this line is. She said, "Yeah, that's how we have sex. We get under the covers and light up some explosives."

I love her.

This week's theme:

I remember that ALF was the first television show that I liked. Whether it was the midget in the orange furry suit or the low-grade acting, it always managed to be funny to my six-year-old mind. But then, 6-year-olds think everything is funny.

Like this.

On to the news:

Don't hug that cow!
(At least not in Switzerland... this was apparently a problem)

Slow news day today, I guess. I checked all my usual sources and only found this one that was remotely worth reading...

Bright, shiny objects:

The world record for wearing the most t-shirts at once
(A photodocumentary of sorts)

I've been there
(I love you, sweetie)

And now a word from our sponsors:

And now the scariest commercials of all time
(For fabric softener...)

Today's fun fact:

13% of Americans actually believe that some parts of the moon are made of cheese.

And finally:

I'm actually writing this at work, while I'm "watching" an on-line training video. I'm even taking periodic quizzes to "check my comprehension." Yeah, this is your tax dollars at work.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Oed to my Car

Today, I bought a new car. I bought me a 2006 Corrolla to replace my 1996 version, Oed. The new car is nice, but it's not Oed. Oed is short for Oedipus. My wife, back when she was my girlfriend, suggested that since I was a psychologist, I should name the car that my mother had recently given me something psychological. I briefly considered "Freud", but that was too cliche. My wife suggested Oedipus. The legend of Oed was born.

How to say goodbye to your first car, the car in which you passed your drivers' test and drove home from prom. It was the car that drove me to Chicago, and my wife and I got pre-engaged in it and went on our honeymoon in it. It was sad to leave it behind today, but after 122000 miles, and 10 years in the family, it was time to move on.

A moment of silence please for Oedipus. Semper in memoriam.

We're calling the new car Antigone. If you get why that's funny, please do let me know.

This week's theme:

I had an ALF lunch box. Did you?
(Now you can too!)

On to the news:

If you carry one, you know exactly what they're talking about
(How many days I've wanted to...)

Headline: Woman crashes while teaching dog to drive
(Do I need to even elaborate on that one?)

Jesus apparently has nothing better to do
(an MRI?)

Bright, shiny objects:

Beatboxing parrot?
(Apparently there's a beatboxing dog out there. I didn't click on that one.)

Look out below!
(This is funny even without the bad English.)

Top 5 playlist of the week:

A new Monday feature, owing to my fascination with the fact that Youtube now basically has every music video ever created. Each week, I'll pick an event from my life that has its anniversary around that time, and give the Top 5 from that week when the event was going on.

For example, August 26th, 1994 was my first day of high school. Here's what America was listening to:

5) Elton John, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight"

4) Lisa Loeb, "Stay"

3) Coolio, "Fantastic Voyage"

2) John Mellencamp with Me'Shell NdegéOcello, "Wild Night"

1) Boyz II Men, "I'll Make Love To You"

Anyone else feeling nostalgic?

Today's Fun Fact:

More than 50% of the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.

And Finally:

Today I also wrote the biggest check in my life, ever. That's what happens when you buy a car.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Gender-bending miracle fish!

People are arguing over Pluto. Should it be considered a planet or not? People are arguing over this. Am I the only one who sees the humor in this?

Headline on "Chicago's favorite gender bending miracle fish dies" His name was apparently Bubba. Did anyone proofread that headline?

Congratulations go out to Milwaukee, America's drunkest city. This was apparently a shock.

This week's theme:
Weird Al!

Weird Al and my tenth-cousin, once removed (seriously), Celine Dion.
(My father's an amateur geneaologist. That's how I know that.)

On a related note, I've considered writing to the Celine and saying, "Dear Celine, please stop. Love, the family. Signed, the Pizza Cutter. P.S. Send Money.

On to the news:

Our latest sighting of the Blessed Virgin... in my back yard
(On the belly of a turtle?)

I suppose this would be the best place to hide from the police.
(Smart... criminal?)

Bright, shiny objects:

OK, I have to confess a small hobby that I have. I love virtual tours of cruise ships. It's addictive. Try it.
(Is that weird?)

Going with the Weird Al theme, a piece of UHF
(Stuuuuuuuupid. You're so stuuuuuupid.)

Today's Fun Fact:

For those of you wondering about the mechanics of why the Russian calendar is thirteen days behind from yesterday, here's an explanation.

And Now a Word From Our Sponsors:

What Hallmark should write...
(Dedicated to all my friends.)

And finally:

Coming next week: VMA's. My preview is here.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto has been demoted

As often happens when I find something particularly disturbing, like yesterday's link to "Hey Ya!" ccovered by the German country band (if you didn't watch it yesterday, it's as disturbingly funny as it sounds), I like to share it with my wife. After the disbelief wore off, she looked back at me and said, "Do you suppose they know that in Germany, they didn't actually have a Wild West." Then, after pausing, she said, "But, I guess they did have a Communist East." It's moments like this why I married her.

This week's theme:
Weird Al!

Weird Al, relationship counselor
(Britney Spears... Justin Timberlake... Weird Al...)

On to the news:

Entire planet vanishes from solar system
(I was listening to the radio this morning, and they broke in with a "breaking news" alert to tell us of this.)

Well, there goes my plans for the weekend
(Sweetie, if you're reading this...)

In America, we had gold rushes...
(Admiral, there be whales here!)

Bright, shiny objects:

This is why people shouldn't have sex over the internet
(Where else but Holland?)

And, one that will surely end up as your desktop wallpaper.
(Told ya.)

Today's fun fact:

In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
(November. The Russian calendar was 13 days behind ours. Stupid Russians!)

And now a word from our sponsors:

Well now... it's time for a game of "count the stereotypes"
(Get your calculator out)

And finally:

Contrary to what I posted a few days ago, today is my niece's actual birthday. She was born in Moscow on Aug. 24th, but it was the 23rd in the States, hence the source of the confusion. In any case, she's now a year old.

Chad III is coming...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Have a Donkey Burger

An update on the state of the world:

1) Tom Cruise was fired by Paramount Pictures for acting like an idiot. Apparently it took them that long to figure this out.
2) Iran is still talking about nukyular weapons.
3) Osama bin Ladin thinks Whitney Houston is the most beautiful woman in the world.
4) And reality TV has fallen to a new low. I thought this wasn't going to be possible. Survivor will be racially segregated for its next season. I'm not kidding. 50 years of racial progress has come to this.

Yeah, that's the world in which we live.

This week's theme:
Weird Al

Weird Al and... Mariah Carey
(Severe al-aholism here.)

On to the news:

Be careful whom you kiss
(Now I understand this t-shirt)

This week's edition of "People Who Need Something Better To Do"
(Any cracks about this blog... would probably be right)

Foreign Intelligence right in my own backyard
(Yeah... it's a... bomb...)

Bright, shiny objects:

Hey Ya! covered by a German country band
(I have neither the time nor the energy to make this up.)

They had to do it to Karate Kid...
(Brokeback Dojo)

Today's Fun Fact:

Which country makes Panama hats?

And finally:

Yesterday, waiting for the train, I was telling my wife about how Kevin Federline (Popozao!) won a Federline Award. I suggested that perhaps he would be better off staying at home counting pennies. My wife looked back at me and uttered, "Does he even know how much a penny is worth?" I had to admit, she had a point.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Apocalypse is Coming

It's been a bonanza day for Federline Award winners. Paris Hilton is at it again with the following... wisdom

Paris Hilton has revealed how she weeds out faux friends, and some are wondering if her ex-best buddy Nicole Richie failed the test. “I’ll pick out two outfits, one which is disgusting and one nice and I’ll ask my ‘friend’ what they think,” the heiress said, reports the London Independent. “If they go for the revolting one, I cut them out of my life.”
Now, there's a way to choose friends.

Federline alum Jose Canseco, just for good measure, recently pitched for the Long Beach Armada. Four HBP, Five walks, and a home run.

But, today's Federline Award goes to... well, Kevin Federline (Popozao!) Attention Mr. Spears. You are not a rapper. Perhaps you saw his breakthrough performance last night... Take heed, because he's a lyrical poet.

Perhaps this explains a few things:

K-Fed also says Spears is his toughest musical critic. “She gives me her real opinions about my tunes,” he said, reports Passim. “When I get really excited about the songs, she would tell me to slow down.”
Britney is also telling K-Fed that he needs to get rid of his pet sharks. After all, I think K-Fed has officially jumped over them. Popozao!

This week's theme:
Weird Al!

Al, if you're reading this: perhaps you might rush whatever K-Fed material you have out to us?

Al Yankovic vs. Al Gore!
(note: depending on where you work, this might not be the best time)

Polka Power!
(I recommend watching this one just to see the Chumbawamba scene. Stick around for Marilyn Manson.)

On to the news:

Not the brightest bank robber
(Oh, well then... can you direct me to the actual bank?)

Devil's face on a penny
(I suppose after the chocolate Virgin Mary story, we have to have equal time)

Is this grounds for a lawsuit?
(That's a serious question.)

Bright, shiny objects:

Let me see your statz!
(I've never seen a rap video about statistics before...)

The Generator Blog
(Try not to waste too much time here)

Today's Fun Fact:

Why is it called a hamburger if it contains no ham?
(I've always wondered this...)

And now a word from our sponsors:

I want this to wear when I write my entries
(And one for my brother. It's bad to put inside jokes in things like this, but it was too good to pass up. For everyone else, I'll just let your fertile, perverted little minds figure out the rest.)

And finally:

Tomorrow is my niece's first birthday!

Monday, August 21, 2006

American, idle

Things seen on the Chicago El, going to church yesterday morning no less: A sticker that said "Virgin: On Sale, $16.99". Presumably for Virgin Records, but everything's funnier out of context.

Monday means new theme!

Drumroll please...
Weird Al!

No, not the parodies, even though those are nice. This week, we're going to peer into the wonderful world of Weird Al interviewing celebs... sorta.

Like, Weird Al interviewing Madonna.

On to the news:

First it was Joe Camel...
(... Now it's Tom and Jerry)

Grandmother tells off Simon Cowell
(I love old people.)

Chicken is a bridesmaid
(Well, then again, we though about having my little brother's dog as our ring bearer...)

Maybe the steroids in baseball problem is worse than we had thought
(To put it in perspective, there are few Major League players who are that big.)

Bright, shiny objects:

I told you the motivational poster maker was dangerous
(Tip of the cap to friend Steve for the link)

Carefully, now
(I love!)

Fun Fact of the Day:

Los Angeles’ full name is “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula.”

And finally:

Well now, below, you will find my VMA preview... Try not to spend too much time there...

First Annual VMA Preview

Usually, I only do one of these for the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament... but I decided to give the Empty TV Idiot Music Awards a try. You see, every year, MTV gathers together the entire entertainment industry and pays homage to the best practitioners of an art form to which they no longer actually give any air play. This would be like ESPN holding movie awards because back before endless reruns of SportsCenter, they actually used to run movies. (ESPN = Entertainment and Sports Programming Network... the Entertainment was the movies.) ESPN figured out that they actually could make a functioning channel of nothing but SportsCenter. Thus, ESPN News was born. I now know the reason why I stopped watching TV.

Another MTV rant, while I'm in the area. Has anyone else seen My Super Sweet Sixteen? Is this not the most disturbing show ever? As an actual child psychologist (seriously, that's my day job), I object.

MTV is actually something of a life-course bell weather. There was a point in my life where I realized that MTV had absolutely nothing to do with my life. When you pass that point, you will know that you are old.


Video of the Year:

And the nominees are:
Christina Aggalerra (you have to say it like that) -- Ain't No Other Man
(Attempting to channel Uma Thurman, Gwen Stefani, Paris Hilton, and half a dozen other blondes while singing "You've soul, you've got class, you've got style, you're bad ass." As another MTV show would say, "Next!")

Red Hot Chili Peppers -- Dani California
(Attempting to channel every music video cliche of the past 40 years, but in a hilariously self-aware parody. Brilliant.)

Madonna -- Hung Up
(I like the up-tempo techno-y dance song that she didn't write. The video is... Madonna dancing around. How is this any different from "Ray of Light" ? Considering that "Ray of Light" won this award in 1998, maybe it's not a bad strategy.)

Shakira f. Wyclef Jean -- Hips Don't Lie
(There's exactly one reason that this video got nominated. I'll give you a hint. It's not Wyclef Jean.)

Picnic! At the Disco! -- I Write Sins Not Song Titles
(I'm going to say something you may have never thought you'd hear from me. This entire package -- song, band name, video -- is too weird for even me.)

A little history:
(a complete recap of the award)

The really interesting piece of this award is the list of videos that somehow lost, despite being considered among the all-time classics. "Thriller" lost to The Cars "You Might Think" in 1984. A-ha's "Take on Me" (I still think it's the best video ever made) lost to Dire Straits "Money for Nothing" in 1986. (In fairness, I can't fault that choice, although CGI is now so passe... but who's dared to do pen and ink since?) Van Halen's "Right Now" over "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (1992)?

Neil Young won in 1989 for "This Note's For You" Odd.

Since 2000, the award has gone to:
Eminem twice (once over "Fell in Love with a Girl"), "Lady Marmalade" (with Christina Aggalera), "Work It", "Hey Ya!" (which I personally liked, even over Britney Spears in "Toxic"), and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (Green Day is the new Creed).

My vote goes to:
The problem this year (and it's a problem) is that the fans are voting for all the awards. However, MTV retained the "Viewer's Choice Award"... which means that this category is what? The Chili Peppers get my vote, because I appreciate good self-aware parody. Madonna comes in a respectable second place. I have to admit, I dig the song "Hung Up", but the video is too bland.

Who will win:
Sadly, it seems to be between Widespread Panic! at the Disco and Christina Aggalera, but Christina's getting major airplay right now. If you're betting on the VMAs, two tips:
1) Get a life!
2) Get the top 40 charts for radio airplay from the next two weeks. Remember, teenagers are voting, and to them, history began three weeks ago.

Sadly, we'll all have to get used to saying Aggalera. By the way, any relation?

Best Male Video:

And the nominees are:
Busta Rhymes f. Every Other Rapper in America -- Touch It (Remix)
(A quick recap: A dedication to a dead friend. Mista Rhymes and someone else making fun of themselves. 11 year old cheerleaders singing some rather suggestive lyrics. And that's just the first minute and a half. Thankfully, all the rappers are labelled for us 26-year-old white guys.)

Nick Lachey -- What's Left of Me
(Didn't you used to be married to someone famous? Is it a bad sign that Ashley Parker Angel might be the better "guy who used to be in a boy band that wasn't N'Sync who went solo"? Answer: Yes.)

James Blunt -- You're Beautiful
(We get it. You're Irish. You're emaciated. You're stripping. You're singing a song called "Beautiful". It works for Christina Aguilera. You're pitiful.)

T.I. -- What You Know
(Standard rap video, which turns into a movie trailer -- trailerre? -- but I actually like the song.)

Kanye West f. Jamie Foxx -- Gold Digger
(He won last year.)

A little history:
(previous winners and losers)

Thriller lost to David Bowie's "China Girl" . What was up in 1984 that no one liked Thriller? More to the point, watch the video and wonder what they were smoking to give that video airplay, much less nominate it.

In 1992, Weird Al got nominated for "Smells Like Nirvana." Odd. (He lost to "Tears in Heaven") Gerardo got nominated in 1991 for "Rico Suave". Sadly, he almost won as he was up against George Michael, Jon Bon Jovi, and eventually winner Chris Isaak. This would be like Milli Vanilli winning a Grammy or something.

Starting in 1994, the winners have gone Tom Petty, Tom Petty, Beck, Beck, Will Smith, Will Smith, Eminem (and after a one year interlude in 2001 of Moby and... uh, Gwen Stefani in the "male" video category... maybe there's something we don't know about Gwen...), Eminem again. Even though he lost in 2001, Mr. Mathers was actually nominated for "Stan". So, precedent favors Kanye West because he won last year.

My vote goes to:
I'm voting for T.I.? There's nothing else out there?

Who will win:
Actually, T.I. makes the most sense here. He's young and hot.

Best Female Video:

Christina Aggalerra (you have to say it like that) -- Ain't No Other Man
(This was apparently one of the five best videos in America last year produced by a female. This is why I married a foreigner.)

Nelly Furtado f. Timbaland -- Promiscuous

Kelly Clarkson -- Because of You
(American Idol alumns don't get linked. For good reason. And I'm sure you'll see the tears she cries behind those hazel eyes.)

Shakira f. Wyclef Jean -- Hips Don't Lie
(Here's another hint: It's not because of director Sophie Muller. What is up with Shakira doing the Robot? No one's gonna get this reference, but I'll put it in here...)

Madonna -- Hung Up
(Her new album is called Confessions on a Dance Floor. If Madonna is supposed to be into "reinventing" herself every 2 years or so, why does she keep making the same album around the same concept?)

A little history:
(the list)

Madonna has actually lost this award 8 times(!): Material Girl, Open Your Heart (lost to herself, "Papa Don't Preach"), Express Yourself, Vogue, Like a Virgin, Holiday, Beautful Stranger, and Don't Tell Me. It's OK, she's won it thrice (Papa, Take a Bow, Ray of Light).

Funny thing about MTV. They usually get this one right. Looking through the list, I can't see any grave injustices over the years. I see a few that are a little odd (Suzanne Vega won in 1988 for"Luka") or that I would have picked otherweise (k.d. lang beat Annie Lennox in 1992), but I can see the cases for those picks. Perhaps the worst one was Kelly Clarkson winning last year over Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl". That's bananas. B-A-ah, nevermind.

Alanis Morrisette won in 1996. Ironic.

Don't you think?

My vote goes to:
Madonna at least put out a snappy song and a serviceable video. It's not that Shakira made a bad video, it's just that Madonna's better.

Who will win:
Ugh. Chrissie Aggalera.

Best Group Video:

And the nominees are:

All-American Rejects -- Move Along
(The angst is vintage 1996. The video effects are too.)

Panic! At the Disco! -- I Write! Sins! Not Tra! gedies!
(My wedding was kinda like that)

Fall Out Boy -- Dance, Dance
(Bands that used to be cool and indie back when I worked at a college radio station are now all mainstream now. This means that most of my fellow DJs won't like them any more. I never liked Fall Out Boy to begin with. However, the high school angst angle was beautifully done.)

Red Hot Chili Peppers -- Dani California
(My favorite video of the past year. At least of the ones I saw.)

Gnarls Barkley -- Crazy
(The Rorschach theme is brilliant. As a psychologist, I can tell you that the Rorschach is total garbage, but it's this is an outright brilliant video. I like the song too. Between Gnarls and the Gorillaz, it's a toss up for the most original stuff coming out lately.)

A little history
(did you even know this site was out there?)

In 1989, a band called Living Colour won this award with a song called "Cult of Personality" . I've never heard of either one. And they beat Guns 'n' Roses and a very underappreciated Fine Young Cannibals. I'm still bitter about Garbage's "Push It" losing to the Backstreet Boys in 1998, but that's just me.

What shocked me is that No Doubt has won this award thrice. (Don't Speak, Hey Baby! (a song that I never understood... "All the boys get the girls in the ____?") and It's My Life. Perhaps I too should write a song about my failed relationship with Tony Kanal.)

Lately, the award's been something of a mixed bag. Last year, it went to Green Day, but it's gone to No Doubt, Coldplay, N'Sync, and Blink-182. What does the 182 stand for anyway? Did anyone else notice that this is the only category dominated by rock acts? That's because rappers don't often form groups.

My vote goes to:
Rough choice. I loved Dani California. I really like Gnarls Barkley, and I already voted for the Peppers for Video of the Year. I'm gonna vote for Gnarls. Or the Peppers. This is a category where either cna win and I will be happy.

Who will win:
I think Gnarls could actually steal this one, but since the new buzzword among these kids nowadays is "emo", not that anyone can tell me what that means, it'll probably be Panic! Not a horrid video, just not the best of the bunch.

Best Rap Video:

That's right... I'm expounding on rap videos. It makes me wonder who they'll get to actually present the award. Like, whom do I pay how much to have it be Elton John and Yanni presenting this one?

And the nominees are:

50 Cent -- Window Shopper
(I always sound stupid saying "Fitty". How original. A video in which the rapper says "I'm very rich. After all, I'm 50 Cent." When I was in Russia, they had billboards for a Russian radio station which said something like "We play 50 Cent" and it had half a dollar bill. This was the only positive thing that I could possibly say about this absolute waste of three and a half minutes of my life. That, and it's better than "America's Most Hated." Popozao!)

T.I. -- What You Know
(I guess the only thing I can say about it is that I have no idea what they're talking about. "What you know about that?" Apparently nothing.)

Busta Rhymes and Friends -- Touch It (Remix)
(I'll give an award if anyone can tell me what this song is about. A bonus to the person who can tell me why Busta Rhymes gets top billing when he doesn't actually do anything.)

Yung Joc f. Nitty -- It's Goin' Down
(The sign of a rap video that will eventually live in infamy. 30-year-old white guys are doing that awful dance move and believing that they are "ghetto". I'm not making this up. Seriously, this is the new YMCA)

Chamillionaire f. Krayzie Bone -- Ridin'
(Message: I'm an outlaw. That's soooo coool. Like, omg, that's so hot. I can totally understand what it's like to be black. Like, Chrissie, omg, isn't this hot! Like, omg. I mean, omg! Has anyone stopped to think that most white kids in the suburbs, who account for 90% of the sales of rap albums, get most of their ideas of African-Americans from garbage like this?)

(a complete listing)

The first one of these went to "Parents Just Don't Understand", followed by McHammer, and a couple years of the band Arrested Development. Since, it's been a cast of the usual black male suspects (Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Nelly, and uh... Will Smith).

In other words, a collection of devent videos featuring hit vapid songs by commercially safe artists that got a lot of airplay. MTV has never gotten too experimental with this one, I'm sure not wanting to lose street cred (omg, I'm so ghetto!) with what they eventually figured out was going to be their core audience. If they picked artists like Arrested Development nowadays, artists who actually had some sort of actual message, what would the audience say? That's right, "Who?"

If you want something fun, may I recommend looking through the list of nominees. Digital Underground, Biz Markie, 3rd Base, Sir-Mix-Alot, and Master P stand out.

In 1991, a song called "It's a Shame (My Sister)" got nominated. I'm scared. (It's actually a song about domestic violence.)

My vote goes to:
Rollin' Wit' Saget

Who will win:
Yung Joc. Due to that awful dance move.

Best R&B Video:

And the nominees are:

Beyonce f. Slim Thug & Bun B -- Check On it (Pink Panther)
(On the plane back from Moscow, they played this song and video on continuous loop on one of the in-flight channels. The video itself is funny only for the fact that Beyonce and Steve Martin were in the same movie. What next, Eugene Levy and Samuel L. Jackson?)

Mariah Carey -- Shake it Off
(Watch the video and remember that 16-year-old males are voting.)

Chris Brown -- Yo (Excuse Me Miss)
(A pretty good song, some decent choreography, not a bad video. And a musical shout to the Chi-Lites)

Mary J. Blige -- Be Without You
(First off, will someone tell me how her collaboration with U2 on "One" is not somewhere in here? And why is this one any good? It's about cyber-relationships... What America's youth need is another song about the benefits of randomly hooking up with someone from online.)

Jamie Foxx f. Ludacris -- Unpredicatable
(The standard/theatrical overlay is good. Past that, this is nothing new. This song will be in a Skinemax movie within 6 months. I'm calling it.)

A little history:
(The recap)

Alicia Keys's 2 year hold on the award is over. And that's a sad thing. She actually does R&B as opposed to most of what is called R&B, which is thinly disguised rap. Beyonce's won this one thrice (two with Destiny's Child and once by herself), but then again, the Fugees have won it three times too (1996 for "Killing Me Softly", Wyclef Jean for "Gone 'Til November", and Lauryn Hill for "That Thing"). MJB also has one from 2002. The thing that surprised me is that over the years, Mariah Carey has never won this one, and this is only her third nomination. No real outrages in history, other than the sentimental tip of the cap to Sean Puffy P. Diddy Diddy Puff Daddy Combs win in 1997, but I'll let that slide.

My vote goes to:
In a category of underwhelming entries, I'll go with Chris Brown.

Who will win:
Mariah Carey will win, and look for a Glitter-worthy acceptance speech.

Best Hip-Hop Video

And the nominees are:

Black Eyed Peas -- My Humps
(Confession time: This was my guilty pleasure song of the year. Although, "Pump It" was a better video. Fergie also used to be on Kids Incorporated, along with Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater), Jennifer Love Hewitt, Shanice, and Martika. )

Kanye West f. Jamie Foxx -- Gold Digger
(Cute song. Boring video.)

Common -- Testify
(Courtroom drama, intriguing cinematography, and there's an actual story line in there. Song's pretty good too. I'm impressed by this video.)

Three 6 Mafia -- Stay Fly
(Remember the first time that you saw "Bombs Over Baghdad" and you thought "nice beat, but what the hell are they talking about?" That was my reaction. It's colorful and has a lot people dancing in it, but I've seen that before.)

Daddy Yankee -- Rompe
(Huh? I watched it again. Second reaction: Huh?)

A little history
(You've probably already explored around this site now, but why not?)

Sisqo won this award in 2000 for the "Thong Song". Are we as a culture finally ready to admit how stupid it was that we even noticed that song. Worse, I'll lay $100 that people would be quicker to identify "Sisqo" as the commander of Deep Space Nine than the singer. Since then, it's been mostly Outkast (Miss Jackson and Hey Ya!) and Missy Elliot (Work It and Lose Control). Yes, J-Lo won it one year, but she doesn't count.

My vote goes to:
My brain says Common, but the BEP song was so much fun to sing.

Who will win:
I'll say 3-6-Mafia (what a double play combo! Not only do you throw the guy out, you break his legs!)

Best Dance Video:

And the nominees are:

Madonna -- Hung Up
(A song for dancing? Yes. People dancing in the video? Yes, I guess you can call it that. Madonna doing some sort of weird interpretive dance? Weird, but yeah. Madonna playing DDR? Now that's awesome! )

Sean Paul -- Temperature
(In a finding known as the Everclear Effect, something interesting happens when you play a Sean Paul song. You can have your friends sing all of Sean Paul's other songs at the same time, and they all fit. Try it some time at a party. Not that I can ever understand what the guy's saying. Are his songs in Spanish? Is that my problem?)

Nelly Furtado f. Timbaland -- Promiscuous
(Instead of the old Elvis and the new Elvis, people should argue about the old Nelly vs. the new Nelly. I prefer the old one.)

Shakira f. Wyclef Jean -- Hips Don't Lie
(Whenever, whatever.)

Pussycat Dolls f. Snoop Dogg -- Buttons
(Is Snoop Dogg in every music video? Has anyone else noticed this? Soon, he'll be at every major event in America. Mideast peace treaty signed as the leaders of Israel and Syria clasp hands with Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Carter. I would pay $1,000,000 in Monopoly money for that picture. With that said, did anyone else notice that the Pussycat Dolls can't sing? I didn't think so.)

A little history:
(Don't laugh)

This category has had some howlers. C + C Music Factory (over Groove is in the Heart!), Michael and Janet Jackson, The Spice Girls (over Prodigy's "Breathe"), and Ricky Martin. Not to mention that awful "Yeah!" song a few years ago. Ah, the ephemeral nature of dance music.

Somehow in 1998, Prodigy won for Smack My Bitch Up. Strange. Must have been a make up call for the making them lose to the Spice Girls.

My vote goes to:
The Pussycat Dolls are the new Spice Girls. Therefore, no vote. I'd go with Madonna on this one. The problem is...

Who will win:
The Pussycat Dolls have
1) Six former strippers
2) Snoop Dogg
3) and the song is peaking right now.

But, is this not setting up for the perfect acceptance speech. Snoop Dogg walks up dressed in a pimp outift with all the ladies and everyone fawns over him. Then, Gloria Steinam swoops in and calls for a sexual harrassment lawsuit.

Best Rock Video:

And the nominees are:

30 Seconds to Mars -- The Kill
(Nifty little song. Video is well done, although it doesn't really seem to fit the song.)

Panic! Apparently at a Disco -- I Right Skins Not Tapestries
(The link isn't even to that video. This one is better.)

A.F.I. - Miss Murder
(The Marilyn Manson that it's OK to like. I couldn't take myself seriously enough to actually like the band, but the song, while a complete mess, is worth a few listens. The video is about the same. Throw it in the good, but not great bin.)

Red Hot Chili Peppers -- Dani California
(To think that I usually hate everything that has anything to do with California... RHCP actually played my alma mater in 1986.)

Green Day -- Wake Me Up When September Ends
(It's a pretty song, as was Broken Dreams Blvd., but if I have to hear it again... and the award for best acting in a music video goes to... someone else. So does the award for best make up on a lead singer. It's sweet and touched me in all the right places, but that's what my wife is for.)

A little history
(Once you figure out what this award is called)

Green Day won last year in a video category that has struggled with its identity since its inception. What used to be an award sure to go to Metallica is now an award for the best impersonation of My Chemical Romance or to one of the old alt-rock bands still kicking around. It all points back to the same thing: Alt-rock has run its course and is looking for the next Kurt Cobain. In 1998, Dave Matthews was nominated along with Metallica. Think that's weird? The year before Daaaaaave (you know the people who refer to him as Daaaaaaave with a dreamy look in their eyes) was nominated in here with Marilyn Manson.

My vote goes to:
California, rest in peace.

Who will win:
I'm already panicking about the disco.

Best Pop Video:

And the nominees are:

Christina Aggalerra (you have to say it like that) -- Ain't No Other Man
(Remember when...)

Pink -- Stupid Girls
(This is fantastic! I'll even forgive her for stealing the title from Garbage. I laughed for hours after seeing this. It's still funny. And so true.)

Madonna -- Hung Up

Shakira f. Wyclef Jean -- Hips Don't Lie
(What else can I say about this video. I like the dress that she's wearing in it? I hadn't realized that Wyclef Jean was still alive? This was the most un-necessary use of the Spanish language in a song since Bono counted 1, 2, 3... 14! Perhaps since the Macarena?)

Nelly Furtado f. Timbaland -- Promiscuous
(Is it just me or are these nominees getting repetitive?)

A little history:
(Does anyone remember Pop-Up Video... now that's history)

A list of everyone who's ever won this award: Kelly Clarkson, No Doubt, Justin Timberlake, No Doubt, N'Sync (twice!), and Ricky Martin. I was about to complain about Kelly Clarkson, but she actually beat Lindsay Lohan and Ashlee Simpson. This award seems to be for the most annoying video of the year. You'll note I didn't really link to any of them. There's a reason. And the reason issssss yoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooou.

My vote goes to:
Not that I'm actually voting for any of these. But, I really really hope Pink wins and gets up and makes fun of Paris Hilton on stage.

Who will win:
Flip a five-sided coin. Mine came up as Shakira.

Best New Artist in a Video:

And the nominees are:

Angels and Airwaves -- The Adventure
(Now this is something new, differently, and I'll say rather nice. It was quirky, but it worked, and I like the song for the first two minutes. I think this is where rock is going, personally, but I've been wrong before... see Cleo, Letters to. But then again, I can't shake the feeling that they plagiarized from the Cult)

James Blunt -- You're Beautiful
(Is he the same guy as Daniel Powter? Susan Powter?)

Avenged Sevenfold -- Bat Country
(In 10 years, you'll look back on this video and say... "Who were they?" They need to decide if they're angry or Weird Al. You can't be both.)

That freaking Panic! song
(OK, I give up... it's decent! I'd even listen to it at a disco! or with Crisco. I would eat them with cheddar cheese, because I write sins not tragedies. Happy now?)

Chris Brown f. Juelz Santana -- Run It
(He sampled "Yeah!" And made it better. He sounds like a young Michael Jackson. That might not be the best compliment I could toss around, but remember, Michael Jackson used to not be weird... really... and the king of pop.)

Rihanna - S.O.S.
(She's named after a Fleetwood Mac song, kinda. She's sampling Tainted Love. She references Elton John. It's a pretty standard video, but it's flawlessly executed and she looks like she's been doing these videos for the last 10 years. Guilty pleasure street, here I come.)

A little history
(Shall we?)

Well now, this one's been a mixed bag between the now very obscure ('til Tuesday, Crowded House, Living Colour, Michael Penn(?), Jesus Jones, and Natalie Imbruglia... remember her?) and the shooting stars that had their moment extended for a year or two and then faded away (Counting Crows, Hootie and the Blowfish, Eurhytmics, Guns 'n' Roses) and the good picks that have withstood the test of time (Nirvana, STP, Alanis). The recent picks, it's too early to judge. At least this isn't the "Kiss of Death" Best New Artist Grammy.

My vote goes to:
It's hard to tell whether I'm supposed to vote for the new artist or the video. If it's the best new artist, I'll go with Rihanna or Chris Brown. If it's best video, I say Angels and Airwaves. If it's some combo of the two, Rihanna.

Who will win:
This is a really hard one to handicap. I'm out on a limb here, but I'll say Angels and Airwaves. Watch me completely drop this one and James Blunt win it, but I stand by Angels.

Viewers Choice Award

And the nominees are:

Chris Brown f. Juelz Santana -- Run It
(Who cares.)

Rihanna - S.O.S.
(Who cares.)

Fall Out Boy -- Dance, Dance
(Who cares.)

Shakira f. Wyclef Jean -- Hips Don't Lie
(Who cares.)

Kelly Clarkson -- Because of You
(Who cares.)

A little history:
(Is this even relevant?)

OK, so this year, the viewers are voting on all of the awards. We can now return to the question of what this award is then. Judging by the nominees, it's the "We liked your video, but you're on the 'B list' for video of the year" nominees, but that doesn't explain how Shakira is in both categories. Is this like how the MLB All-Star game has the balloting for the last guy to make the roster for each league?

Historically, the result is never a surprise, with the possible exception that Queensryche(!) won in 1991 for "Silent Lucidity".

My vote goes to:
Shakira and Wyclef. Because that's funny to say out loud.

Who will win:
Fall Out Boy is the only rock act on here. The rest split the Top 40 vote. Fall Out Boy sneaks in.

And finally:

Oh, there's so much more to write. Why didn't so and so get nominated? Remember those crazy moments from years past (that all seem to involve Britney Spears, Madonna, or Michael Jackson... now there's a threesome! Sorry about that mental picture)? Did you know that 'til Tuesday was Aimee Mann's band? More on Kevin Federline (Popozao!), because you know he'll be there? Why did they pick Jack Black to host?

Worry not reader. We'll cover that on the night of, when I live-blog the MTV VMA's, live from the World Communication Hindquarters of the Pet Zebra Society, aka my living room.

Thanks for reading this far. Hope you enjoyed this tour through music video history.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

Nerd Pride! Christie's Auction House has gathered together the world's largest collection of Star Trek-related trinkets (Captain Kirk's chair! sorta) and is putting them up for auction to the highest bidder. In a show of how... what's the word, dedicated?... Star Trek fans are, the catalogue that Christie's put together is selling for $90. Is it a bad sign that I think this is really cool? Answer: Yes.

I'm proud to be a nerd!

This week's theme:
Waving goodbye to the Animaniacs

It's time for another Good Idea, Bad Idea.
(Nothing like animated physical comedy)

I suppose it's not really an Animaniacs Tribute unless I tip the cap to Pinky and the Brain
(Yes, I know, you hate me because you'll have that in your head)

And to all my neuropsychology friends out there...
(except for one...)

On to the news:

I think this whole No Limit Poker thing has finally gone too far
(I still don't understand watching people play poker on TV. But then again, I don't understand the allure of watching golf on TV.)

Do as I say, not as I do.
(German finance minister tells people how to spend their money)

Woman beaten up by mannequin?

Bright, shiny objects:

Speaking of weird things associated with Star Trek
(... I'm speechless...)

Is it Friday?
(Now you can check.)

And finally:

After researching this one, my faith in humanity has been shaken. I will now go hide. After clicking on the links, you'll understand why.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dolphin Returns Home After Speedo Accident

This morning while riding the train to work, I engaged in a habit that everyone does, but strangely, no one ever talks about. I was reading the paper that someone was holding, because I forgot to grab one for myself. The headline was "Dolphin Returns Home After Speedo Accident."
I stopped reading immediately after that, but I have to say, the entire day, I've wondered what kind of story that could possibly be. What possible confluence of events could have produced that particular headline? I found the answer. It was weirder than I could have imagined. Although, this may explain a few things.

This week's theme:
Laughing until we collapse

It's time for another Good Idea, Bad Idea
(Insert witty comment here.)

Two gems of 1996 in one!
(You know you loved it, and 10 years later, you still know the moves.)

On to the news:

Fight breaks out among Buddhist monks at peace protest
(The Middle East I understand, but this?)

Finally, a stupid criminal who gets his wish!
(He broke in to what?)

Justin Timberlake states the blatantly obvious

Bright, shiny objects:

More of my childhood coming back to haunt me
(Marc Summers is now on the Food Network, and is a spokesman for awareness of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. As an official psychologist, I applaud him.)

Motivational poster maker
(Now this is downright dangerous.)

And now a word from our sponsors:

Ronald McDonald had a little surgery
(And now he looks like Paris Hilton)

And finally:

(I told you this was dangerous.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Double entendree

I paid Walgreens another visit a few days ago, and as often happens at Walgreens, came home wondering where America went wrong. This week's Cosmopolitan magazine features the headline: 101 Sex Tricks to Try (Before You Die). Sure, this is Cosmo's headline every week/month, but I think this is the first case of a double entendree in which the second meaning is the intellectual one. If you don't get that one, please stop reading.

This week's theme:
Zany to the max!

And now it's time for another episode of "Good Idea, Bad Idea"
(You know you want to click it.)

Dot's Poetry Corner.
(Pretentious Cafe)

On to the news:

Russian woman sues weather forcasters
(Can't trust those Russian women.)

Does this mean that Pamela Anderson is immortal?
(Nothing like comedy-blogging about the war in the Middle East)

I've seen this story (at least the theme) a lot
(But they always come up with a new twist on it.)

Bright, shiny objects:

Actually, this is a bright shiny object!
(And I want one)

The Dullest Blog in the World
(Make your own joke. I am.)

Today's Fun Fact:

Most people fall asleep in seven minutes.

And finally:

One more time!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Four more years

In college, I used to look forward to Tuesdays because it was Onion Day. Not much has changed. (I especially can appreciate this one here.) Today is the fourth anniversary of the day I moved to Chicago. My first (tiny!) apartment. My first time living fully on my own. My first time living in a state other than Ohio. Four years later, this place is starting to grow on me. In two years, I'll probably be somewhere else. Such is life.

This week's theme:
It's time for Animaniacs!

Every once in a while, I break out into this song.

It's time for another episode of "Good Idea, Bad Idea"
(I've always wondered... is that the same guy as the Motel 6 Commercials?)

On to the news:

Domestic foreign intelligence
(Proud to be an American... most of the time... just not right now.)

Government intelligence
(Maybe because it never happened?)

Criminal intelligence
(They actually stole the kitchen sink?)

Non-human... intelligence?
(Let me here you say this story is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!)

Bright, shiny objects:

Mike the headless chicken dot org
(Need I say any more?)

Yogi, the Ranger isn't gonna like this...
(Does the bear look a little... drugged to anyone else?)

And now a word from our sponsors:

Can't get to sleep?
(Hasn't about half of FIF-land had this problem at some point in the past?)

Today's Fun Fact:

The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
(But... were they or weren't they?)

And finally:

A gratuitious reference to my wife, since apparently I'm not allowed to go through a post without referencing her.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Rock Concert for Nerds

I've returned from New Orleans back to Chicago. No post on Friday, due to the wonders of Hilton's internet connection (on for 5 minutes, off for ten, on for two, off for 45). Don't let anyone tell you that New Orleans is back on the rise. It's all marketing, sentimentality, and wishful thinking. The city used to be a 24-hour place, but now everything closes at midnight or earlier, with the exception of Bourbon Street (more on that in a bit).

The French Quarter itself is beautiful. The architecture is grand, and the Cathedral of St. Louis is a hidden gem. It's very well done and it's safe enough for kids to walk around, even on Bourbon Street. Here's the thing about Bourbon Street. It's a collection of seedy looking bars (no shock there) and... strip clubs. Considering what happens on Bourbon Street (and yes, it was happening while I was there), why would one go to a strip club? In fact, there were about ten of them (no exaggeration...) including two run by Larry Flynt. It smells like a mix of stale urine and vomit. I walked around and wound up talking to the homeless in the area for a while.

The conference itself was fantastic. I was in a room with Aaron Beck and Albert Bandura at the same time. Before I went, my wife told me that conferences like these were like a rock concert for nerds. I now understand what she means. If you're a psychology major and a nerd, you're wetting your pants right now in envy. If you're neither one, you have no idea why this would be interesting. Either way, I got pictures.

Last week's theme:
Odd renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner

Since I didn't get to post on Friday, I figured I'd give you the final installment in the series. The final entry is N'Sync at the 2002 Winter Olympics. It's not really an odd rendition of the anthem. In fact, it's a really well done rendition, and one of my favorites. But, it does contain the line, "The flag will be raised by Native American war veterans [dressed up like the guy from the Village People] and the anthem will be performed by N'Sync." Apparently no one stopped to think about how funny that sentence would sound when read aloud.

This week's theme:
It's time for Animaniacs!

You know you love it.
(And you'll have it in your head all week!)

Seriously, was this show not 10 years ahead of the curve? Would anyone understand Family Guy without this show as a background?

Warning: Hardcore nerdiness behind this link

On to the news:

Emmitt Smith. A.C. Slater. Jerry Springer?
(Can we finally agree that reality TV has gone too far?)

Rampaging squirrel on the loose!
(Boris and Natasha already know)

This would be a weird story even if it didn't involve Paris Hilton
(What exactly would the Gospel choir sing?)

Bright shiny objects:

The Alternative Dictionaries
(Ever wanted to really insult someone in their native language?)

Don't you love things that are unintentionally funny?
(Use your clean mind...)

And now a word from our sponsors:

The Rock Flowers
(I suppose that the M.C. Hammer Doll in 1992 wasn't that much better)

Today's Fun Fact:

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

And finally:

While walking back to my hotel from Bourbon Street, there was a (probably) homeless man who was clearly passed out drunk on the sidewalk. People stopped not to help but to take pictures. Does anyone else find this offensive?