questionable topic – uneasy matters since 2008

Social needs graph

Posted in culture, internet by questionabletopic on Thursday, May 17, 2012

Social needs graph

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American Mozart

Posted in amazing, anthropology, culture, entertainment, music, opinion, PR by questionabletopic on Monday, April 16, 2012

By David Samuels
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/05/american-mozart/8931/?single_page=true

Intense, emotional, and frequently out of control, the hip-hop superstar Kanye West allowed his antics to turn him into a national joke and to earn him the criticism of two American presidents. Would a massive concert tour with his friend and rival Jay-Z offer the troubled rapper a taste of redemption—or disaster?

Whatever you think of the many controversies he has ignited, you must admit that Kanye West is at least some kind of musical genius, ranking among the top five producers and the top five rappers of the past decade. (His singing, by contrast, is kind of a joke.) Every one of his five solo albums has gone platinum, and he has sold 30 million digital downloads of his songs, to become one of the most downloaded musical artists of all time. He has won 18 Grammys—the most of any artist in the past 10 years—while serving as a backpack-wearing icon of black nerd chic. Kanye’s power resides in his wild creativity and expressiveness, his mastery of form, and his deep and uncompromising attachment to a self-made aesthetic that he expresses through means that are entirely of the moment: rap music, digital downloads, fashion, Twitter, blogs, live streaming video. He is the first true genius of the iPhone era, the Mozart of contemporary American music, intent on using his creative and emotional gifts to express the heartbreaks and fantasies of his audience.

In addition, though, Kanye West is, according to the president of the United States—the first black president of the United States—a “jackass,” a narcissistic monster who tore a massive hole of self-regard in the American cultural quilt.

Worse even than the president’s epithet, which he first offered on September 14, 2009, is the near-universality of his verdict, which has been echoed for years on talk shows and gossip sites across America. Most painful of all, perhaps, was the classic “Fish Sticks” episode of South Park, which portrayed Kanye as a designer shades–wearing egomaniac who is so humorless and devoid of self-awareness that he can’t comprehend a simple joke about fish sticks. Being represented as the most humor-impaired man in America by the South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker may have actually hurt more than what the president said.

Бытует мнение, что плохо только “тут”,

Posted in anthropology, culture, facts, government, politics by questionabletopic on Sunday, March 18, 2012

 

а “там”, левее по карте и западнее по курсу — все сплошь жизненный елей, торжество гражданских свобод да экономическая вольница.

Певец Plan B, известный как исполнитель песни “She Said” и актер в фильме “Harry Brown” с Майклом Кэйном, выпустил клип на песню “ill Manors”, которую авторитетные издания нарекли “песней протеста нового поколения”.

Эта песня может служить очень отрезвляющим взглядом на то, как дела идут в тех местах, о которых говорят как о “колыбели свобод”.

Лирическое отступление “ill manors” — это игра слов, при прямом прочтении “плохие районы”, при переносном “плохие манеры”. “Район с плохим воспитанием” — необходимое зло перевода, вроде украинской ГТС. Вот оригинал слов песни, а я вам покажу свой очень беглый перевод:

Давайте выйдем на городское сафари,
Там полно нелегальных иммигрантов.
Слышь, смотри – а там типочек.
Значит: с судебным приводом и опасен.
Он в капюшоне – обними его скорее,
Хотя нет – может мобилу отжать.
Ну все, поздняк, идея была тупой,
и кто б ее не придумал – дурак.
Он ведь дерзок, как мы все –
Будь шутом, играй паяца,
А политика – не более чем
ложь и пропаганда, 1ое Апреля
круглый год подряд, в целом –
еще один кирпич в стене.
Нам простят убийства в школе,
маты все теперь в почете.
«Все мы пьянь и утырки
Каждый там – с пакетом дури» —
продолжайте верить прессе.
«Дети спальных городских районов», твари,
думаете, вам известна наша жизнь
из тысяч статей или всех слухов?!
Да все правда, оставайтесь, где комфортно,
нет нужды бросать пригород.
Правда в том, что мы – проблема:
лжем, разводим. Это все бессмыслица.
Поддерживай боязнь нас, вот что мы поняли.
Разжигай и пусть горит!

Припев
Слышь, я сказал слышь!
Че уставился, мажор?
Бедность тут, запри дверь своего дома
Сваливай, пока все не отобрали —
Я с района с плохим воспитанием.
Район с плохим воспитанием,
Знаете, плохо с районом и воспитанием.

В асфальтных джунглях можно потеряться,
новостройки тут и там.
Не тот поворот на перекрестке —
вы в районе куда нет пути чужим.
Власть печется экологией,
сохранив нашу естественную среду –
построив олимпийскую деревню
вокруг кварталов без выселений,
дали нам откупные и налоговые льготы,
социальную медицину. Ой, спасибо вам, родные!
Ножевых ранений и ножей здесь поровну,
«Хорошо знать, что нас поддержат в случае нападения» —
вот не надо парить мне, это выводит всех.
А кто же закрыл наш центр молодежи?
Там я проводил все время,
где же мне тусовать до сентября?

Школы нет и правил тоже, доставай что тяжелее.
Лондон в огне, я предрекаю бунт.
Конфликт и противостояние,
Кто бы знал, о чем тот глава вещал?
Что–то о Кайзерах.
Дети улиц своего не упустят
И урвут свое когда есть шанс
Пойдем воровать? Нет,не в кровать.
Скоро центр, скрой свое лицо.
Увидим мажоров на нашем пути —
Будут сожалеть, что вышли из дома.
Вот вам штраф за проезд, всем платить!
Делайте как Борисграбьте вчистую!

Те стоики, которые дочитали до этого места, заслуживают на дополнительный фактоид: песня содержит сэмпл песни “Alles Neu” от Peter Fox, которая говорит о кардинальном обновлении своей жизни и ценностей. Мажоры и прочие люди с музобразованием заметят там части Симфонии №7 Шостаковича. У каждого свои культурные ориентиры.

Бисер перед свиньями

Posted in amazing, anthropology, consumerism, culture, entertainment, experiment by questionabletopic on Tuesday, May 24, 2011

12 Января 2007 года в Вашингтоне скрипач мировой славы 43 минуты играл перед безликой толпой у станции метро. За то время, пока он исполнил 6 классических пьес на скрипке ценой 3,5 млн. долларов, 1097 людей (среди которых большинство – столичные бюрократы) прошли мимо. За все выступление Joshua Bell собрал 32 доллара и обратил на себя внимание горстки людей.

Для справки: этот человек собирает своими академическими концертами полные залы ценителей, средняя цена билета при этом 150 долларов.

Современное общество победившего консьюмеризма – слепое, глухое и интеллектуально немощное. Зерна от плевел отделить само не может, ему обязательно нужны костыли в виде провокационной рекламы, мнений экспертов и мощного продвижения.

How many other things are we missing?

Why Aren’t Gays Funny? | The Awl

Posted in anthropology, culture, entertainment, joke by questionabletopic on Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why Aren’t Gays Funny?

By Choire Sicha | May 3, 2011

Sure, there are funny gays in various entertainment fields, such as shoe design and Condé Nast magazines, but let us think of gays in actual comedy. Okay, so there’s Ellen. That guy ANT. Neil Patrick Harris. And… hmm.

Oh right. Scott Thompson. And Graham Chapman, of Monty Python. These two might prove a comedy “rule” that gays are often funny when in groups of straight people. Or when they are English: Stephen K. Amos, Simon Amstell, Matt Lucas, Julian Clary, Paul O’Grady. And Kenny Everett and Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Williams, RIP! Or when they are of an English province: Trey Anthony, say, from Canada. And Tommy Sexton. And I guess Trevor Boris counts! Then there’s… oh, Dave Rubin!

There’s a pretty equal number of ladies, of course. Don’t ever confuse Judy Gold and Julie Goldman. (Jews! I know!) Also don’t confuse Wanda Sykes, Elvira Kurt and René Hicks. That’s racist. (I’m kidding, it’s not. See what I did there?) Margaret Cho still counts. Also I will namedrop Alec Mapa in the interests of diversity!

Of the greats, you have Rip Taylor and Lily Tomlin. And more, hmm… I guess Eddie Murphy, if you count those who may prefer our sexual partners to be in that wonderful middle ground between gender norms. And Andy Dick counts. (There is such a thing as bisexuality!)

But now. Think of the least funny people you know: Susan Sontag, Bret Easton Ellis and Jeffrey Dahmer. All gay. All devoutly unhumorous. Why aren’t gay people funny?

via Why Aren’t Gays Funny? | The Awl.

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Bill Maher’s New Rule for Republicans

Posted in culture, politics by questionabletopic on Monday, April 18, 2011

Conan O’Brien Kinetic Typography

Posted in amazing, culture, design, lifehack, prominent persons, quotations by questionabletopic on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Conan’s farewell speech from his brief stint on The Tonight Show, as presented by Oklahoma State University student Jacob Gilbreath:

The concept behind this video is to show Conan O’Brien as a solid wall and a monumental entertainer. Also portrayed is the relationship between old and new. This comparison shows the idea of a span of time. Conan O’Brien is and will continue to be seasoned television entertainer. This concept was achieved by creating a literal wall out of over 60 individual typographic layouts. These layouts reference a variety of vintage type designs. The combination of vintage styled type layouts and the sleek 3d look achieved in Cinema 4D allow the wall to seem both old and new. This contrast emphasizes time and creates a sturdy and timeless object which is the perfect metaphor for Conan O’Brien.

Come on, George. Loosen up. Swing, man.

Posted in culture, entertainment, motivation, prominent persons by questionabletopic on Monday, March 14, 2011
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two sides of the coin

Posted in culture, entertainment, PR by questionabletopic on Monday, March 14, 2011

Two and a Half Men Is Better Than None

.. A lot changed in my life with that decision. And I do not regret it. The movie and television business are filled with some of the most wonderful and talented people you could ever know. It is also the rock under which you find the biggest, lyingest, thievingest scumbags on Earth. (They tend to be the ones that are not in any craft or union related to actually making a movie.) However, one of the great oddities in show business is how someone you respect can have a good experience with someone you loathe. Conan had a tough time reconciling Jeff Zucker’s decisions. Maybe I would have too. Meanwhile, Jeff has only been supportive of me during my recent years at NBC. Go figure.

Conan has moved on and his great talent is undiminished by his difficult experiences. I had wanted to say to him back then what I will now offer to Charlie. You can’t win. Really. You can’t. When executives at studios and networks move up to the highest ranks, they are given a book. The book is called How to Handle Actors. And one principle held dear in that book is that no actor is greater than the show itself when the show is a hit. And, in that regard, they are often right. Add to that the fact that the actor who is torturing their diseased egos is a drug addled, porn star-squiring, near Joycean Internet ranter, and they really want you to go.

Granted, it didn’t get real until you insulted them. And your suit may have real grounds.

.. Sober up, Charlie. And get back on TV, if it’s not too late. This is America. You want to really piss off Chuck and Warner Brothers and CBS? Beg for America’s forgiveness. They will give it to you.

 

Bad Publicity… and Charlie Sheen

While popular wisdom is that any publicity is good publicity, academic research has largely shown that negative word of mouth hurts company brand and sales. For example, negative movie reviews decrease box office receipts to the point that Hollywood pundits believe that it is “almost impossible to recover from bad buzz.” Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone estimated that negative publicity cost the move Mission Impossible 3 more than $100M in ticket sales.

Despite this, there are a surprising number of counter-examples. The Wall Street Journal reported that a wine described “as redolent of stinky socks” increased sales 5% after it was reviewed by a popular website. Similarly, Hotels.com reported a “300 percent increase in requests for information about Kazakhstan” after the movie Borat made relentless fun of the country.

It turns out that bad publicity might even be a reliable way to generate increased traffic – and sales – on the Web. In an article entitled ‘A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Web,’ the NY Times provides a horrifying account of how one on-line eyewear site encouraged customer complaints to improve their Google page rank. The higher a site is in Google results, the more likely someone will click on it. More clicks lead to more sales. This is new, and obviously controversial, approach to search engine optimization.

.. In short, as a well-known brand, Charlie Sheen should worry but the stinky obscure wine can count on increased sales.

Академической музыке запрещено быть скучной,

Posted in amazing, culture, entertainment, joke by questionabletopic on Monday, March 14, 2011

или “Rachmaninov had big hands” в исполнении дуета Igudesman & Joo, эпизод из “A Little Nightmare Music.

Charlie Sheen is a man with zero regrets.

Posted in alcohol, amazing, anthropology, culture, debate, entertainment, health, lifehack, motivation, opinions, PR, prominent persons, self improvement, story by questionabletopic on Thursday, March 3, 2011

охуенная статья о том, почему Чарли Шин важен и клев.
His appeal is that, while most guys — especially post–college — must reign in their ids and demure to society’s expectations to advance rung by rung up the soul–crushing ladder of corporate mediocrity, Sheen has reached the ultimate apex of manhood eternal: doing whatever he wants and speaking the complete truth, consequences be damned. (Even if the complete truth, as he perceives it, is “I got tiger blood,” “I have a 10,000–year–old brain,” and “I’m an F–18, bro.”)

сопливая статья о том, почему Чарли Шин шовинист и женоненависник (as if there was anything wrong with it)
Sheen’s m.o. seems to be to invalidate these women’s claims by accusing them of being money hungry or fame hungry. It’s interesting for him to consider women looking for money, particularly at the end of a relationship with him, as some kind of character flaw, considering his well–known practice of paying women to party with him, as well as his penchant for hookers. According to a recent GQ article, Sheen lost his virginity at 15 to a hooker in Las Vegas whom he paid for with his father’s stolen credit card. Kacey Jordan tells GQ of Sheen’s obsession with sex workers, “He is unhappy, and he probably relates to the porn girls, thinking they’re unhappy, too.”

вдумчивая статья о о том, почему Чарли Шин важнее Джастина Бибера в медиа–мире
If you didn’t hear, yesterday Charlie Sheen joined Twitter. Today he very well may reach 1 million followers (as I type he’s already passed the 900K mark).
How did it happen? Why all of a sudden did he wake up and decide it’s Twitter time? And how was it that Charlie Sheen went from non–twitterer to hardcore twitterer overnight? Short answer: he got a lot of help from a team of experts at Ad.ly, a small Beverly Hills start–up that focuses on celebrity endorsements via Facebook and Twitter.

Crème de la Crème

Posted in anthropology, culture, entertainment, motivation, prominent persons, story by questionabletopic on Sunday, February 20, 2011

★ IRL

Posted in amazing, anthropology, culture, prominent persons by questionabletopic on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Это не порно, это чистый офигенчик” – сайт, посвященный нетривиальным фотографиям знаменитых людей.

The External World

Posted in amazing, consumerism, culture, films & animation by questionabletopic on Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Анимационная работа “The External World” от David OReilly – возможно, самое пугающее/смешное/удивительное/грустное/дикое/честное/абсурдное из того, что вам довелось увидеть. Особам с беременной или несовершеннолетней психикой все же рекомендую обойти вниманием данный ролик.

Пугающего/смешного/удивительного/грустного/дикого/честного/абсурдного дня вам, дорогие мои!

Увлекательный способ сэкономить около 50 млн фунтов

Posted in amazing, consumerism, culture, prominent persons by questionabletopic on Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Все мы тут приличное общество, поэтому не буду утомлять вас банальностями: кто такой Дэмиен Хирст, чем знаменит, и что веселого сделал. Вы это и сами, наверно, знаете.

Но есть у него центровая работа, “For the Love of God” (приблизительно, возглас от удивления “Ради всего святого!”), которая изменила восприятие современного искусства навеки. Если быть до конца объективным, это и не искусство в чистом виде, а тонкий арт-терроризм: четкий расчет действий, плановое исполнение, интенсивное медиа-покрытие, широкая огласка, и успех акции (достижение поставленных целей).

Цена лота – всего ничего: £50 миллионов. Обуздав свое желание мгновенно приобщится к искусству (поскольку многие из нас и так ввязались в кредитно-ипотечную каббалу), я представляю вам решение времен рациональности и бережливости – IHIRST. Цена – £49.99, вот и получим сумму экономии, вынесенную в заголовок, не утратив практически ничего. Сэкономить – почти что заработать.

Если кто не приветствует холодный расчет в теплом, чувственном сердце искусства – вы не одни.