Archive for July, 2005

Heavy Metal Parking Lot

Jul 27, 2005 in Pop Culture

A streaming video version of the 1986 cult classic documentary Heavy Metal Parking Lot is available online! 1998’s HMPL: The Lost Footage is also available for viewing.

HMPL has inspired spinoffs such as Neil Diamond Parking Lot, Harry Potter Parking Lot and a TV series currently showing on the Trio cable network. All of these videos plus many more can be viewed at filmmaker Jeff Krulik’s website.

World of Warcraft blog-type hilarity

Jul 27, 2005 in Humor

Once upon a time, I traded links with a blog called Martian War Machine. Recently, I checked my Bloglines account and wondered how the hell this feed for “Equinox the Nifty” got into my blogroll? (It became obvious once I looked at the domain.)

Equinox the Nifty is a very amusing series of illustrated “stories” created with screenshots from World of Warcraft. It’s much funnier if you actually play WoW, but still funny even if you don’t.

Things on TV I hate

Jul 26, 2005 in Pop Culture

TV commercial characters I’d like to punch in the face:

  • The “Good to go” guy from the Taco Bell commercials
  • The Siberian dweller with the fake Russian accent in the Smirnoff Ice commercials. (Apparently named “Uri,” he has a “blog” here.)

Worst TV musical trend:

  • Fake heavy metal music, especially the sort that’s obviously composed on synthesizers. American Chopper is the main offender here, as well as the Smirnoff Ice commercials mentioned above.

Politicians vote to investigate San Andreas sex hack instead of tackling real issues.

Jul 26, 2005 in Current Events

Yesterday, the US House of Representatives voted in support of an FTC investigation into Rockstar Games over the hidden sexual content found in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

The ESRB re-rated the game AO (adults only) after Hillary Clinton pulled a Joe Lieberman and publicly criticized the games hidden sex content. Rockstar insisted that the content was created by hackers, until it was discovered that the content was hidden on console versions as well.

The hidden content is an interactive mini-game where the player has sex with his in-game girlfriend. The content was inactive and unfinished, but still present in the game code when it was discovered by curious hackers who released the ‘Hot Coffee‘ mod patch to unlock it. Cheat codes on console cheating devices such as Gameshark can also unlock the content.

Our government is obviously starting to get distracted (or are they really just distracting us?) with controversial, but largely irrelevant cultural issues. This obsession with pointless hot-button topics is infecting both sides of the aisle, although Republicans get most of the blame for making culture and morality more important than economics or other more important issues. (Republican congressman Fred Upton is responsible for this resolution.)

We’ve had the major league baseball steroid hearings in Congress this year, and now this. A source told Gamespot that future congressional hearings on this topic are likely. Hey Congress, why not investigate some real crimes, like the malicious Valerie Plame leak that destroyed a CIA agent’s career as a political vendetta?

Ok, sure, Rockstar Games should be punished because they may have been peddling backdoor smut to impressionable youngsters. Anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave should know that GTA:SA is not a game for kids. It’s the responsibility of parents to ensure their kids aren’t playing these games if they’re that concerned about it. The ESRB has a comprehensive ratings system in place to inform parents about the games their kids play, so there’s no excuse for parents not to be aware of what their kids are playing.

…except rap and country

Jul 22, 2005 in Music

Today’s cartoon from Natalie Dee dot com parodies the “I like all kinds of music except rap and country” cliche. Just check a Google search to see how pervasive this sentiment is.

Personally, my pet peeve has always been people who claim to like “everything.” Oh really? Do you like zydeco? Tuvan throat singing? Norwegian death metal?

And why is it that rap and country are so hated by many, and that so many often hate both? Let’s not forget metal, which probably ranks third on the most-hated music list.

On the subject of race, isn’t it ironic that if it wasn’t for white kids buying hip-hop records, the genre wouldn’t be nearly as popular as it is? And isn’t is also ironic that almost all modern-day blues fans are white?

On the flip side, why is it that there are so few people of color in both country and metal, both predominantly white genres that were nominally influenced by black musical traditions?

Something to do on a boring Sunday afternoon

Jul 17, 2005 in Linkage

Although it’s best known for gory photos and other tasteless stomach-churning content, Rotten.com’s Library is a fascinating repository of pop culture and weird history. Read about the history of professional wrestling, a tally of deaths at Disneyland, the curious celebrity of Emperor Norton, a San Franciso resident who declared himself emperor of America in the 1800’s, a brief overview of American Francophobia, and a history of controversial moments in classic American animation, among other things.