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johnsu01

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[15 Apr 2005|01:44am]

Censoring the non-dirty words.

This is pretty funny. Picked up from boingboing.net, this enterprising site has taken NWA's Straight Outta Compton and inverted the traditional parental advisory warning, so that the contents contain only profanity.

At first I wasn't so sure about this idea, because I thought that it was a way to make the music look bad or irrelevant, a viewpoint I don't agree with. It could be an attempt to mock the music by reducing it down to the swear words and saying, "See? That's all there is to it." Maybe that's what it is. But I think it's a brilliant swipe at censorship. It's a way to accent what's being excised. Anthrax took a similar approach with their song, Startin' Up a Posse. And that song is directly derivative of George Carlin's Filthy Words routine. Straight Outta Compton was an important album in many censorship debates, and a great choice for this project.

We'll see if the project is allowed to remain on the Web or not. I guess it will probably be taken down due to copyright issues, which is laughable, and sad. I'm not sure what NWA's track record is on the copyright issue (or whoever holds the NWA purse strings these days), but I hope they realize this is a statement on their side and leave it be. I know they were on the defensive side in a copyright case involving the samples used in 100 Miles and Runnin'.

To hear some other thoughts on the language questions, I recommend listening to the interview on NPR's Fresh Air (of all places) with Ice Cube. He answers questions about whether he regrets the language used on those NWA albums, and tells some stories about the ways various authorities kept an eye on them.

On other note, why is the Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial playing Sweet Home Alabama?

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Ballpark veggie dogs [15 Apr 2005|10:42am]

On the serving of veggie dogs at a recent baseball game, and the class conflict therein.

According to this story in the Washington Times, veggie dogs were served at the home opener at RFK Memorial Stadium for the new Washington Nationals.

That's encouraging. Not because veggie dogs are all that great or anything, but I like to be able to eat when I go places, and seeing that sports venues might soon be serving food that I can eat and that contains protein is a positive development.

Unfortunately, the dogs they chose contain egg, so they are not vegan. That's strange, because I don't think I've ever seen a veggie dog made with egg before.

Also unfortunately, this all appears to be tied up with some class stuff. Or rather, the article frames it that way. Traditional working-class fare is out and yuppie fare like wine and veggie dogs are in. Where did this idea that working-class people can't be vegetarian come from?

With wine, it makes more sense, because it's a bourgeois connoisseur thing. There are many varieties of wine, and becoming familiar with them is a hobby that requires a lot of money and leisure time, neither of which the working class would normally be thought to have.

But veggie dogs don't share that aspect. There are only a few kinds of veggie dogs, and they are all about the same. You could master the available flavor spectrum on your day off, even if you only had one day off a week. Or less. And they don't cost that much money. Of course they cost a lot of money at a ball park, because even a beer costs $5 at the park. But at the store, they don't cost that much. Less than all of that junk food that is supposedly working-class, like gigantic bags of Doritos.

I guess it has to do with the reason people eat veggie dogs. They eat veggie dogs because they are concerned about their pristine bourgeois figure. The working class is not afraid of a little gut. Or they eat them for environmental reasons, and then you're smack in the middle of the conflict between the working class and the environmental movement, which is a topic for another day.

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Imagery: A Romance [15 Apr 2005|10:44am]

Flash fiction in response to a FlashXer prompt to write a romantic story.

IMAGERY: A ROMANCE

Edwin tossed his homework, the thick manuscript finished last night, into the puddle ahead of her slender left foot. While less absorbent than the cavalier's handkerchief, it was more intellectual, and also thicker (so as to better elevate the lovely lady foot out of danger). He finished his follow-through with a poetically upturned nose and a one-eyed, wistful gaze.

Diane's sharp heel pierced the first few pages, drawing a bead of water from the puddle below to spread silt trails across the title page. Edwin gasped at the power wielded by the words he'd chosen to invoke the image of that exact heel in the third line of his second sonnet. Never before had his poetry so precisely summoned reality. He whipped the pad from his breast pocket and hurried to scribble a vividly imagined and verbalized kiss, just as Diane stepped past him, a small corner of pentameter still flapping from her heel.

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