Monthly Archives: April 2010

Puerto Vallarta Breeze

Sunset in Puerto Vallarta

Tropical Moonlit Thoughts

Two starving sea gulls sweep
soundlessly together into the sea
capturing feelings with words
once thought an impossibility.

On hammocks, eyes watch water
a courageous moon reflects angelic
with stunning silence, souls speak
singing sounds with laughter poetic.

Meandering mouths whisper
carried loud in the breeze
tender fingers and toes
grab sand, trying to please.

No motive messages are delivered
in sync with the crashing waves
hands orchestrate majestically
knowing what only the heart craves.

A shooting star streaks stellar
an elder couple stare and pause
southern constellations colorfully shine
answering wishful dreams leading cause.

Palms are heard rustling in rhythm
understanding hearts clear as the sky
they dance with cavernous conviction
minds carefully cleansed, they cry.

In demanding lands far from here
another one breathes this same air
jointly forming tapestries of truth
simultaneously mending hearts with care.

Sipping exotic drinks alone in time
giving kind comfort to longing lips
Mother Earth wonders, when wind blows
will the world open its arms to feel this?

– © Leonceo V. Angsioco

New Banned South Park Episode

The South Park Posse

I’m pretty much a huge fan of South Park. No matter how far they push the envelope, everything they do is on point.

Well it looks like Trey Parker and Matt Stone pushed it to the edge last night. I wasn’t near my TV to watch it last night. But rumblings from my friends said that the first 10-15 minutes weren’t even aired. So naturally I had to go find what the deal was. Apparently a lot of it was censored, check this link on a brief discussion.

I wasn’t able to find an uncensored version. I’m sure one will pop up sooner or later on the Internet. But I was able to find the first part of the episode apparently not aired in some places last night. That particular link will include a few random pop ups. If you’d like to view one without pop ups you can go here. However, that site for this particular episode pretty slow to refresh. So however you want to view it, it’s up to you.

I’m not going to break down the episode, I’ll leave that up to you and whatever websites/media outlets that so choose. But in my opinion they should’ve just let the episode run without the censorship. Our society has come to a point where political correctness is stifling creativity and an open mind, rather than protecting anything. We’re so caught up in trying not to offend anyone, that we’re quashing any real conversation. It’s like the sheltered child growing up, who when the finally break free of their parent’s nest they realize that the world is a vast place and reality is not confined to four walls. If we are ever going to break free of stereotypes and ignorant beliefs, we need to face them head on instead of hiding them in a closet. Our society is so quick to turn their heads or ignore reality. Yes, you choose your own reality. However, I fear that our society and generations after mine are going to be too blind to realize real issues.

That was an impromptu rant. However, if you want to have an honest and more fluid discussion with me I’ll be glad to oblige. Maybe I’ll speak more of this and my disdain for categorization and the softening of our society. Not that we need to be hard asses all the time and not that some categorization can help us. But we’re stuck in this old paradigm that is outdated as some “truths” and “morals” we once thought were right. Only when we can address these old notions, figure out their real base can we move on to better things. What are those “better things”? Again get a hold of me so we can discuss some things. We can learn and appreciate the past, but a massive transcendence of the mind is needed more now than ever.

With that, I will be off to Mexico for a spell and hopefully will return with some good blogs for you all.

American Idol: Bowersox won the contest tonight

So again I’ve had a busy week, but I have to make time for an American Idol post. For all intensive purposes, unless someone comes up with an amazing performance this could really be my last American Idol post. The contest is over. Also I won’t be writing one next week, as I’ll be chillin on a hammock in Puerto Vallarta.

The theme for tonight’s episode was “inspirational songs.”

Inspirational to my heart was Siobhan Magnus; again she looked amazing tonight. Despite Simon’s confusion of the “leaves” (actually butterflies) on her dress, she looked stunning (do I have an infatuation? Most likely). Unfortunately, her performance was not inspirational. I mean taking on “When You Believe” by Whitney Houston/Mariah Carey is tough for anyone. She may be in the bottom three tomorrow. I feel like she’s working more on her justification speech after her performances rather than her actual singing. Still love you and still think you’re right on for standing up for what you want to do.

The rest, for the lack of better description… BORING. I’m not even going to talk about them. The competition has come down to two contestants: Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze. Lee is just ready to cut an album, I’m sure after doing his obligatory songs picked by producers he’ll be on point.

Though the competition in my eyes is down to two people (has been for a month now), there is one contestant who is BY FAR head (dreads and all) and shoulders above the rest of the competition.

I believe my years of American Idol fandom warrants this paragraph. The past few years of Idol has been sorely lacking on talent. It should be no surprise that Simon Cowell will be leaving the show after this year. There have been a few gems in the rough, but no real stars. Album sales are indicative enough (even though album sales by no means qualify talent). That being said, Crystal (apt for this analogy) Bowersox is a diamond.

Now you should know that Carrie Underwood pretty much makes me stop anything I’m doing. Keep that in mind with my next statement. Crystal Bowersox is on a whole other level, on the level of Carrie Underwood (for American Idol purposes). I might, might, even venture to say she is ahead of her. Every week she comes out almost mocking the rest of the contestants with her talent (though Lee can definitely hang, but just hasn’t climbed to the top of the Idol rock).

I’m going to post both Lee and Crystal’s performances. But I could really just post Crystal’s. I’m posting Lee’s because his song choice of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” was money. It’s one of my favorite songs. Lee gave his standard professional performance. But as far as it being “Inspiration Week,” it was about five steps behind Crystal’s performance of Curtis Mayfield’s CLASSIC “People Get Ready.”

I literally got goose bumps from Crystal’s performance. I didn’t even get goose bumps from Carrie Underwood’s performance of Heart’s “Alone” (it just made my heart melt). My boy Jack says she’s a “huge star,” and I agree. In a simple equation she’s Joss Stone + Janis Joplin + honest soul + an instrumentalist = huge star. I’ve been tentative to crown her Season 7’s winner, but after tonight the level she’s on, really it’s Crystal Bowersox and the rest of American Idol. The way she keeps it honest and real (helps that she’s a mom) will go a long way in this industry. Watch those tears at the end of the song as she hit the lyrics “you don’t need a ticket, you just need to thank the lord.” A genuine star that the industry needs.

Amendment to original post. Okay I can see one way that Lee DeWyze may sneak in the victory. But these song choices have to be timed perfectly to steal it. From the wonders of YouTube I found these two performances of the Kings of Leon “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody.” Lee, my dude when you read this (because I know you do)… well this may be the only way you’ll win American Idol (just don’t do that dance before Sex on Fire, it would defeat the title of the song). Do work son… but the crown is already on MommaSox.

Jacket Into Tent, Tent Into Jacket and a Panda Hood

So I’m not pumpin out too many blog posts this week. I apologize. I’ve been a bit preoccupied with life away from technology. Eh, but enough apologizing.

As you may have or have not noticed in my “Who Is The Penning Panda” page, I like to roam the Earth. Though I’m a Taurus and supposedly like certainty and no change, well apparently I’m not a Taurus in that regard.

And although I’m a binge sleeper (hit me up if you want a pure definition, or maybe I’ll blog about it sometime), when I want to sleep (or my mind allows me to) I can pretty much sleep anywhere.

I also think jackets should be a necessity not a fashion statement. Shit, though I do like to rock a sport coat when I can.

This all may seem scattered, but follow me here.

So with a penchant to wander (a.k.a. travel), my ability to sleep anywhere (including a rocking boat where everyone thought we were going to die in a storm on the Andaman Sea in Thailand), and jackets with utility (and at times to compliment my dowdy style)… I’m excited to share the following find…

Transformer Jacket!

For when I’m bamboo scavaging in the forest, I discovered a coat turned into campsite back into a coat. It’s Transformer clothing! If in the next few months you can’t find me, expect me to be camping out in my coat.

The company JakPak has dreamingly created the world’s first all-in-one waterproof jacket, sleeping bag and tent. Seriously, my fellow wanderers, seriously.

It works by folding down the sleeping bag from the inside back of the jacket. Then you pull the tent out from a pocket in the back of the jacket. Lastly, straps on the tent attach under body for added stability.

It is super fresh. Add to the fact that all together it only ways 3 pounds for a large. Even if you aren’t quite as into spelunking as I am, I encourage you to check out the website just to see this awesome and functional innovation.

Added clothing bonus. If you’ve seen me in person, obviously my style is whack and I’m not really up to date nor really care about fashion. Well I care about fashion, but I’m just not educated about it. I’m also not a very materialistic person. But I swear this would compliment my JakPak jacket.

So when I’m deep into bamboo territory and the real pandas catch on to what humans can’t spot, that I’m actually not a panda. I can dawn my Panda Spirit Hood. Okay, I didn’t come up with the name so don’t grill me for it.

But seriously, I want one of these. For the said reasons stated in the graph above, but also for when I have to attend those black tie events I seemingly keep getting invited to.

There are two reasons that make this unnecessary piece of clothing necessary in my eyes. The first is that proceeds from Spirit Hoods (there are other animal

I won’t look as bro-bag as this guy.

hoods for all you other animals living amongst humans) benefit Product Blue, a non-profit organization whose quest is to help out your favorite endangered species.

The second reason why my hood panda ways (Get it hood rat, hood panda? Terrible) appreciates the Panda Spirit Hood is in the truthful description of the product:

Panda Bears are great cuddlers! They are affectionate, simple and caring creatures often preferring solitude to an overly social life. People with the Panda Spirit are strong and unique creatures.

Word. And for those of you in the know… A proper panda hug is priceless.

Shuffleboard, Glee, Killer Whales, American Idol… Guess, I’m no longer hibernating

So I wasn’t going to blog this week. I am in April hibernation (it’s not going very well). But two things happened yesterday that has forced me to write a blog: a weird interaction, Glee returns, and the compulsory American Idol review.

Bizarre Brother-Sister Relationship

First thing, first… Alyssa, you missed another semi-adventure, but they’ll only continue with Booger now in town.

Okay, so last night (like every week) was $2 Tuesday at my favorite local watering hole. Last week they put out a new shuffleboard table. For those of you who don’t know, the house I lived in during law school had a legit shuffleboard court in the backyard. By legit, I mean the one with the clay disks and shuffleboard cues. The type of shuffleboards you see on cruise boats.

Look I’m Asian, we have a knack for doing well in skilled games. Don’t hate, it’s just true. So naturally we hop on the shuffleboard table. My first partner was the hommie Justin, we ran our first two games. We decided to switch it up and I gained one of my best friends Booger as my new partner. We again ran legs. By running legs I mean we were playing against some dudes, about 7 points down. Boogs comes through with a 7 point round I followed it up with a 4 pointer by knocking my opponents puck off the 3 zone and leaving my puck in it’s place. Muscled up homeboy in his size small Hard Rock t-shirt was furious. Basically I have a secret spin to my table shuffleboard game, if you think you have skills meet me at a bar. I’ll bring the quarters, you bring your tissues.

The point of all of this happened when Justin and I were partners. We played against a big dude (by big, I mean beer belly big) wearing a polo shirt with some martial arts patch on it. He was on Justin’s side. On my side was this feisty little girl (by little, I mean her head came just above my elbow) wearing a shirt trying it’s best to expose her cleavage.

Mmm... Hayley

So we’re playing, she’s getting all feisty. She pops on Paramore in the juke box. I’m going to stop right here. Look I’m in love with Hayley Williams, even more than Siobhan Magnus (discussed below). No, but seriously my boy works for Fueled by Ramen and has her phone number. He’s discussed my obsession with her, that she actually finds hilarious (meaning he didn’t paint me as a creeper, props Slice). He also said that he’d give me her number. I just fear asking for it, because I know I’ll just call her and say, “What are you doing tomorrow? Nothing? Sweet let’s get married and make babies.” So you now know how I felt when Paramore came on.

Turns out this feisty lil girl loves her just as much evidenced in her line, “I will have sex with Hayley.” Anyway she’s all bouncing around, getting all up in my biz. So the beer belly dude is about to shoot, she leans over and is pulling down her shirt screaming, “Shoot it here. Shoot it here fag.” I’m thinking, “Man these two have a bizarre relationship and I wouldn’t want to ever be in their house.”

Every time he shot she’d do the same thing (of course she did it for Justin also, but that’s besides the point). Midway trough the game we find out that Beer Belly and Elbow Height are brother and sister. The worst part is that Beer Belly was encouraging the antics of Elbow Height, it actually got worse. I’m a fan of awkward situations, but not at all of obnoxious drunks (yes sometimes I’m that guy, I’m usually not a fan afterwards).

When I found out they were brother and sister, I kinda got sick a lil bit. Between rounds they were getting awfully close to each other, seriously it was awful. I turn to Boogs and said, “Man if that was my sister, I’d tell her to put a jacket on.”

Anyway Elbow Height starts talking about her daughter to me. Then was all asking what I was doing later. Being the guy I am, I respond, “Not baby sitting.” She gets all bent out of shape, and pulls down her shirt, and goes “Even for these?” Being the guy I am, I actually held back. What I was going to say was, “Dude is your brother the father of your kid? And I’ve seen better.” Thankfully, Justin felt my flow and we ended the game in a blistering manner.

I was feeling a bit hung over this morning, but not from the $2 drinks… rather from that awkward ass scene with Big Belly and Elbow Height. I’d fear Elbow Height reading this blog and the fact that I may see her again at $2 Tuesday, but I’ve concluded she probably doesn’t know how to read.

Glee One-Liner

I actually just got into Glee a few weeks ago. I’ll thank a certain friend for making me watch the entire first half of the first season with them. It should be known that I’m a fan of singing, especially in shows and movies i.e. Amadeus, Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, and anytime Family Guy or Cartman breaks out into song. (Seriously click on those links, especially Cartman singing Asia’s “Heat of the Moment”).

So it shouldn’t surprise you that I think Glee is on point. Further it should not surprise you my favorite line from last night was (thanks to Maggie for reminding me):

“Did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?”

Oh man that get’s me. And now I feel like I can repeat it without sounding homophobic. Dolphins are definitely not Killer Whales. For those who don’t know, the Panda will die by getting eaten by an Orca, quite possibly a pod of transient Orcas. Seriously, it’s in my prophecy along with a pool with a lion rock facade. You doubt me? What’s your prophecy?

American Idol Top 9 Redux

So the biggest news of this week for American Idol was the fact that last week Michael Lynche was saved by the judges. Rightfully so. That’s the bummer about this show, it’s really up to teenie bopper texters to vote for who remains. Before I get into my opinion of last night’s episode I’m going to put it out there, Aaron Kelly and Andrew Garcia will be the bottom two. Despite Andrew’s pre-Idol YouTube following, I just don’t think he’s grown and done enough.

What else can I say about Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox? Not my favorite performances, but both of them did a stand up job once again this week.

Siobhan Magnus, not your best and I fear you’re slipping a bit. But my babe has soul and I love it. You looked your hottest tonight, yes please with a cherry on top. And I hate cherries. She’s got the POWER vocals. Don’t back down Darlin. Though she did lay the best line by a contestant ever on American Idol, “I’m not just one kind of singer or one kind of vocalist. And if I can’t even label myself, I don’t think it’s even necessary to be labeled. I just love to sing.” If you know me and categorizations, I hate them. That’s it I’m flying down to LA to give her a proper hug. The Panda is in love. Siobhan = Bamboo.

Katie, you sassy little girl. Lovin it. I think of everyone she has the most potential. She has a Christina Aguilera attitude in her voice. Calm down folks, I don’t think she’s the next Christina Aguilera. I can only hope she can surround herself with the right people. I can see why my boy Jack is in love. I’m gonna take que from Maggie though, what is up with her outfits? Not that I’m a fashion guru in any sense, but I have some stylz (with a z). I smell good anyway, I bet she smells good. Playin. However hen she ages a year, I’ll give my true opinion. Jack, easy buddy.

Michael Lynche, not my favorite performance. But Big Mike proved he should’ve been saved last week. I wanna kick these teenie bopper text voters in the teeth. Too aggressive? Maybe, but damn. His vocals are silk. I enjoy the Marvin Gaye and Al green steez. Yet I still question where his niche is to sell records. Unlike Siobhan, he’s not unique enough. And I fear he may get lost in the money mongering label mix. He needs the Panda as his manager. Hit me up Big Mizzle.

Casey James can jam. Reminds me of Doyle Bramhall or Derek Trucks. And for all intensive purposes, those two sell records. I could get down with some Jack Daniels and Copenhagen and jam with him. I’m all about the blues rock, feelin it hommie. Just keep rockin it and swing that axe, you’re a musician dude. Stick to it and don’t forget it.

Aaron Kelly (my Moms’ favorite) has a good voice. The thing I dislike about the judge’s commentary to this date is that they judging him on his age. They want him to be like that lil bro-bag Justin Bieber. But seriously Aaron has a great voice. But if he is to succeed in this biz, he needs to believe in himself. He needs to believe that he has talent, unlike said Bieber. Hopefully that will come with age. Shit I know kids out of law school with no clue on who they are. Own it youngin.

I’ve said it before, but why is Tim Urban still on American Idol? Now my problem is magnified, last week’s performance was decent (I mean he did what he had to do for that particular Beatles song). This week, albeit nothing show stopping, but he came through again. Obviously he’s not near my top three Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, and Michael Lynche (in that order). But hey, during Elvis week all the contestants ran the risk of sounding like glorified karaoke singers, dude did all right. Not at all saying I’m a fan now.

Andrew Garcia, sorry my dude. Ask my friends, especially girls, I’m all about the cheeze. But for a second week in a row, that was excessively cheesy. You can get away with it with your song choice during Beatles week, but this week was not great. My dude, I’m one of those who was a follower of you on YouTube, but I believe your time has run out. If by chance you return next week, grab your acoustic and spill that soul brotha.

Thursday Thizzle Tacks

I definitely have some thoughts on my mind today… I’m going to talk about one of them, but I’m going to have to put it out there; one of the greatest annual sporting events has started today, A tradition unlike any other,” The Masters. All I’m saying is that yes I’m following Tiger Woods and 60-year-old Tom Watson is currently sitting atop of the leader board with a blistering 5-under 67. So, my mind is flooded with golf. But for you non-golf peeps, here are a few things to chew on. I hope you’re slightly hungry or are seeking a piece of gum.

I’m going to start off the post with the Beatles “Think For Yourself.” Expect many more Beatles videos in upcoming posts, American Idol Beatle week got me, and the fact that I said that I can name Beatles song for almost every occasion.

Earlier in the week, I found myself in a discussion over my friend Jillian’s statement: “People who are offended, choose to be offended.” I’m a firm believer in free-will. And I also believe your situation is whatever you make it out to be. So I agree with Jillian that an emotion/feeling/thought is a choice. Whether the choice is made by the heart or the mind, well that brings about the whole physiology v. human interaction/internal connection debate. I’m not going to get into that now. Whether the heart and the mind are separate? Well I say, “Don’t let your head cloud your heart, let your heart clear your mind.” That being said I believe there is a symbiotic relationship and the key to unlocking the potential of both, is to not let one override the other.

Jillian’s statement had interesting timing with a recent Burger King commercial. HAHA, yes three consecutive posts about commercials. But I have a thought that commercials provide a general pulse on society. The newest Burger King commercial to offend the “sensibilities” of society features The King running through an office building. He busts through a window, gives a befuddled-looking woman a sandwich and then is tackled by two white-uniformed medical peeps.  The King is called out by the medical peeps call him  “crazy” and “insane,” because he wants to give away his sandwich for the low, low price of $3.99! The Washington Post ran an article where mental health organizations got their undies all up in a bind. A part of the article reads:

“I was stunned. Absolutely stunned and appalled,” says Michael Fitzpatrick, executive director for the Arlington-based National Alliance on Mental Illness, one of the nation’s largest mental health advocacy organizations. He called the ad “blatantly offensive” and hopelessly retro in its depiction of mental illness, adding that the commercial could lead to further stigmatization, the primary barrier for individuals to seek out treatment. “We understand edgy,” Fitzpatrick says. “But this is beyond edgy. Way beyond.”

Are you kidding me here? Seriously? It’s a DAMN commercial, with a creepy mascot, who always has jokes. I don’t know what is up with society. And initially I had an opposing opinion to Jillian’s statement. But after I read a number of articles similar to that in the Washington Post, I’m siding more with Jillian’s sentiments. I’m trying to figure out when our society got all bent out of shape over some things. I get it, there are people with mental health problems. But do you honestly believe that Burger King was trying to offend those people?

This is starting to roll my dice.

I also understand that “bullying” is a big problem these days, or is it? Back in my playground days bullies ran rampant, but you stood up for yourself. You said, fuck it, avoided them or stepped up and got your shit rocked. Kids these days are going to grow up not knowing how to deal with people and situations that may just knock them on their ass, literally and figuratively. I don’t at all condone physical confrontation, but if you keep hiding from it, how will you ever learn to deal with it.? I can promise you, it will happen. The truth of the matter is that there are just some real fuck-ups in the world, and unless you plan on living in a cave the rest of your life you’ll run into them. I mean when the hell did vampires become all emo?

I think it’s pretty indicative of my generation. We’ve yet to face real hardships. Oh, the economy is bad. Fuck all that noise, shit was inflated to begin with. America has become an oasis of materiality. Yes, we may be in a “war,” but nothing like WWI or WWII. There has been no real “oil crisis,” I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of mile long lines back in the day.

For some reason we’ve all been caught up in this idealistic world. Don’t get me wrong, I want change, and I’m a dreamer. Actually I’m probably THE biggest dreamer. But I also understand that humans will always be humans. That somethings may be offensive or hurtful, but flip the coin, it could be comedic or truthful.

Why do people fear the truth so much? Why does my generation fear taking an honest look at themselves? Is it really that hard of a realization, that we’re not all perfect. No, we don’t live an a utopia. There is good in every person. But at the same time we all have our faults, fears, or dark parts. Our generation has become so accustomed to hiding all of that, burying it in pills, psychologists, relationships… When did it become hard to become your own light? When did it become “self-centered” to take care of yourself? If you feel like you have a fault, address it. Try to change it or accept it. But you need to take an honest look at it.

So my thoughts have been scattered… but if you’d like to talk in person about these issues, I’ll be glad to. This is kind of what happens when you’re watching The Masters and trying to write a blog, which turned deeper into thoughts than I expected.

Anyway, to have a more concise opinion on similar matters I am going to post an Esquire magazine article by a solid writer, Stephen Marche. If you haven’t read any of his “A Thousand Words About Our Culture” columns, it’s definitely worth checking out. So with that, I’ll leave it to a man who actually gets paid for his thoughts. Enjoy or hate it, at least you’re addressing something within yourself.

Why So Sad, Fellas?

Twenty-first-century men with money might just be the luckiest group in the history of the world, but a casual glance across pop culture would give the impression that they’re an oppressed underclass, barely able to find enough to eat. Everywhere you look, sheep are begging and baaing for your empathy and, if you can spare it, your sympathy, but a closer look reveals rough fur wimps, the ostentatiously meek, are inheriting the earth, with vulnerability becoming the definitive, and most profitable, affectation of our time.

Sweet! A new generation of wimpy kids.

How long can this massive, finely wrought bluff continue to stand? This month, the film version of a publishing sensation comes out – more than twenty-seven million copies of the book series in print – and its basic premise is this: “Being a kid can really stink.” I’m going to go way out on limb here and say that being a kid is actually terrific. I, for one, loved it. Hide-and-seek is a seriously underrated game. The Fruit Roll-Ups alone are worth the price of admission. At any rate, the promoters of the book are wrong to describe the wimpy kid as an “unlikely hero.” Robert Pattinson and Michael Cera have become the foremost leading men of their generation by becoming, respectively, the serious and comic aspects of the same projection of weakness. Pattinson’s face, geisha pale, reminds me of an elaborate piece of modernist pottery. Between performances as the feyest vampire of all time, he’s now starring in “Remember Me,” tortured-rebel claptrap of the most treacly variety. “I’m undecided,” his character says at one point. “About what?” his beloved asks. “Everything.” Sigh. Cera, the kind of actor who plays the same nonthreating character in every movie, can soon be seen in “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” a nerd-meets-girl comedy based on a  graphic-novel series whose first volume is “Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life.” I hope Cera has insurance on his shoulders, which look like a pair of upturned newborns’ bottoms. They’re they key to his appeal, the weedy equivalent of J.Lo’s ass. He epitomizes a new kind of flamboyance: If you don’t have it, flaunt it.

Rock ‘n’ roll, meanwhile, which began as a defiant howl or youth’s irrepressibility, has devolved into ever quieter, ever more solemn dirges. There has always been a niche of emo sensitivibots in the music scene, but now they have taken over the factory. And I don’t just mean John Mayer, who uses passive-aggressive moans to bed women way out of his league. (Sample lyric: “Excuse me, Mrs. Busybody/Could you pencil me in when you can?”) Or even Coldplay, the worst band ever to be the world’s biggest, who come off as feeble as they are boring. The best and most original musicians require wanness as a cover for their brilliant musical experimentations. If the Beatles wanted to hold your hand and the Rolling Stones wanted to burn your town, today’s rock starts want to suck your thumb.

Writers, too, have never been more desperate to paint themselves as weaklings and victims. Every memoir is now suspect. Writers will claim to have gone to jail when they’re upstanding citizens. They’ll claim to be drunks when they’re clean. They’ll cry rape. They crave debasement in order that they may be more exalted. And that’s just the nonfiction. The thirty-something generation of American novelists has replaced Hemingway’s hypermasculinity – writing like it passed the time between rhinoceros shooting and threesomes with Italian whores – with poses of rapt loss. Jonathan Safran Foer tries his hardest to write like a precocious twelve-year-old girl. He takes breaks from his neutered novels to write defenses of vegetarianism. Dave Eggers pursues the most direct course, though: He just assumes the voice of victims – a Sudanese genocide survivor and an Arab immigrant caught in Katrina-addled New Orleans – and writes their stories as if he were them. His first screenplay was genuinely original in the purity of its ascetic violence, but he kind of pulled back the curtain on his own motivations: Art is his means of demonstrating contempt for the world and his moral and intellectual superiority to everyone in it.

Everybody understands, even those who won’t admit it, the basic psychological mechanism at work in the world today: By negating your power, you serve only to deepen it; restraint of surreptitious, more intense expression of the will to power. “The slave revolt in morals begins by rancor turning creative,” Nietzsche writes in “The Genealogy of Morals,” but what he failed to predict was the slave revolt in morals would actually lead to people pretending to be slaves. The luxuries of feigned weakness are many: muddying the waters of responsibility, permitting intellectual and moral laziness, like the roots of a tree through the privilege of their own experience for ever deeper sources of resentment. Glenn Beck is the political avatar of this aggressive ersatz vulnerability: He weeps like a baby to promote the destruction of his (or, if you believe him, America’s) enemies. Weakness sells, which is why I can’t really blame the fake-hurt men – they’re just hustling. I blame us for being suckered by all this mewing and for basking so cozily in the warm glow of virtue by association. It’s our fault that self-pity prospers where gratitude never would. As for these men, they won’t admit their own prosperity, lest it require they give of themselves. They won’t admit their own health, the beauty of the world, and their luck to be alive in it. They won’t give life itself the satisfaction.

Tiger Woods “Commercial” on Jimmy Kimmel

Okay. I made serious commentary on Earl and Tiger Woods in my previous post… But I had to post this spoof of the commercial on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The “commercial” featuring a fake voice of Tiger’s mom Kultida Woods had me crackin up. Mom always knows best. Tiger I still love you and it’s only a few more hours til you tee off at The Masters. Sweetness!