questionable topic – uneasy matters since 2008

American Mozart

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

By David Samuels

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.

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.

Tagged with: , ,

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

Posted in culture, entertainment, motivation, prominent persons by questionabletopic on Monday, March 14, 2011
Tagged with: , , ,

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, 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, 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

Just shapes and lines..

Posted in entertainment, films & animation, prints by questionabletopic on Monday, April 19, 2010

Это работа графического дизайнера Albert Exergian, который широко известен блогосфере как автор серии минималистических промо-постеров несуществующего канала Iconic TV к известным сериалам. По-моему, лучшая.

70 лет и 1 день (прости, мы опоздали..)

Posted in culture, entertainment, prominent persons, story by questionabletopic on Thursday, March 11, 2010

Чуть не пропустил знаменательное событие:
Чаку Норрису стукнуло* 70 лет. Юбиляр принимает поздравления по адресу:
* не то что бы стукнуло (такого он бы не простил даже времени), просто прошло 70 лет со времен установления
чактаторства как единственной формы государственного устроя на планете Земля.

Where’s your head at?

Posted in amazing, entertainment, music video, technology by questionabletopic on Friday, March 5, 2010

Хочу вам напомнить о битбоксере Beardyman и представить Chris Cairns.

Аппаратная часть от фирмы “Musion” в совокупности с их талантом в проекте “Neurosonics Live” заставит вас взглянуть иначе на использование головы.

DJ Spooky: Kino-Glaz / Kino-Pravda

Posted in amazing, culture, entertainment, experiment, films & animation, music, music video by questionabletopic on Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Paul D. Miller, более известный как DJ Spooky, выпуском своей медиа-работы “Secret Song” отмел все обвинения андерграунд хип-хопа в цикличном вращении вокруг “guns, bitches & bling” и перевел акценты в сторону советского модернизма и документалистики.

не все твиттеры однаково полезны..

Posted in anthropology, entertainment, industry, internet, joke, prominent persons by questionabletopic on Thursday, January 21, 2010

Кто такой Stevie Wonder – я думаю, не надо объяснять. Что такое Twitter я и не объясню. Но суть такова: пресс-службы (почти) всех звезд завели им (почти) персональные аккаунты в Твиттере. Некоторые люди поняли абсурд происходящего, и вот какой резонанс это вызвало.

Mad skills.

Posted in amazing, anthropology, contest, entertainment, music video by questionabletopic on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Дисклэймер сердоболам – он нормальный и не обделенный, просто флоу у него такой яркий. (ссылка на нужный момент)


Christina Hendricks @ Golden Globes 2010

Posted in entertainment, films & animation, photo, prominent persons by questionabletopic on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

“Золотой Глобус” в 2010, награда Best Television Series (Drama) справедливо уходит к сериалу “Mad Men“. Но это все мишура, на самом деле я пишу этот пост, чтобы показать вам “красный коверChristina Hendricks.