Saturday, February 25, 2012

MKM Open Thread (Feb. 25, 2012)

Welcome to your MKM Blog open thread for February 25, 2012, only 14 more trips to Target left before the Mayan Apocalypse.

Good morning everyone.  Welcome to your weekend edition of the MKM blog's open thread.  I've got a lot of errands to run, so come on in, make yourselves at home, but try not to mess the place up because I won't have a lot of time to straighten up before my mom gets home from work.  And, whatever you do, please don't drink any of my dad's priceless collection of scotches and have a hilarious series of misadventures trying to find replacements.

Chat away.  Here's a Youtube clip to get you started.


34 comments:

  1. Mantis Toboggan, M.D.February 25, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Hey, this place has a weekend? Take that, doing other things!

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  2. The good news is, I didn't get into your dad's scotch.

    The bad news is, I accidentally broke the dick off of your mom's miniature replica Statue Of David.

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    Replies
    1. Shit, dude, my mom doesn't have a replica of the Statute of David. That's our fucking gardener.

      Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.

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    2. No wonder he was so pissed when I glued it back on upside-down.

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    3. That was my favorite scene in the Goonies!

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  3. I still have that Betty Boo song stuck in my head, IMG. Damn you.

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  4. This might be the single worst hangover of my life.

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    Replies
    1. How old are you? Because if you're ~27, they're all like this from now on.

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    2. I'm exactly 27 and you couldn't be more right. But this one's a new low. I don't think I'll move until tomorrow if possible.

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    3. Bang. Well, I can tell you it just keeps going down hill, for at least another 5 years, and then - and I'm guessing based on my plans for the rest of the weekend - it totally stops and you feel like you're 21 forever!!!!

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    4. Yup. Everything hurts. Sitting on the couch is not horizontal enough.

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    5. I'm one of those naive people who believes that, thus far, my 30's have been the best time of my life. The most notable exception, and it's not even close, is the ability to spring back from a night of drinking. Holy hell do hangovers get worse as you get older.

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    6. Truth. I used to be able to pound 12 beers and a greasy burrito and I'd be good to go the next day. Now that I'm in my 30's, I'm useless the next day AND all my joints get swollen. The point being, you young fellers, ENJOY YOUR ABILITY TO BE A DRUNKARD WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES!!!!

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    7. Man, I agree 100% with everything here. I worked 2 jobs my final year of college (I wasn't in an actual "class", I just had a final project to complete). Most days I would get up and landscape for 8 hours, get home with enough time to shower, and drive to my restaurant job. Then I'd go out until 4 am, get up and do it again. Now I have a bottle of wine and I can't go out in direct sunlight without wanting to puke the entire next day.

      And don't even get me started on my inability to handle heroin anymore.

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    8. I'm with TDK. 30s have rocked, other than hangovers. I can basically live my life without worrying about anything on MTV, which is amazingly liberating. But anything more than a few glasses of wine and my stomach hates me for the next 36 hours.

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    9. Y'all are crazy. My life is best summed up as a microcosm of this great nation of ours.

      Roaring 20's, 30's marred by Great Depression.

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    10. Correct on all fronts. I lost the ability to bounce back my junior year of college. Early years though, drink until 4 am, get up at 7, shower, eat a large breakfast, and I was ready for class.

      Now...I only drink more than a beer or two if I know I can lose the following day. Because it's probably going to be like today...which is not going well. And now a couple of friends are stopping by which means I'll have to interact. Which is also probably not going to go well. I should probably shower.

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  5. Replies
    1. Cause it's Anchorman!

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    2. The reply is almost as funny! Because he used a racial slur in a way that is superficially ironic but really just an excuse to use a racial slur for shock value!

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    3. Mantis Toboggan, M.D.February 25, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      It's a wasteland out there today. Check out all the slop on the "Gook" headline post.

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    4. I see Mattingly's Sideburns made the ol' slant reference. He's a long-time commenter with a good record, so I hope he escapes the ninja's wrath. But man, the pink comment "alice_longbottom" seems to have wandered over from Jezebel with nary an idea of what we do. Sheesh!

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    5. Mantis Toboggan, M.D.February 25, 2012 at 7:53 PM

      Literally every comment in that post besides Gamboa's should be nuked.

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  6. OK, I'll bite --

    #1 -- It's pretty obvious that Whitey Ford/Everlast only started this beef in the hopes that Eminem would respond and he'd get some free publicity out of it, right? I mean, Evelast's legacy is pretty well set at this point -- House of Pain has their place in hip hop history and he even had a reasonably successful solo career. There's essentially no reason for him to call out Eminem other than to draw some attention to himself. So, why would Eminem play along? Why not just ignore it? I don't understand when big-time, high profile rappers respond to these smaller acts nipping at their heels.

    #2 -- Why should anyone pay attention to any rap beefs anymore? Back in the 90's rap beefs really meant something. There was an actual danger to calling someone out in a song. People got jumped, beat, shot and killed. I'm not saying that's a good thing, I'm just saying that the fact that there were real-world consequences to starting a beef meant that it was worth paying attention to it when it happened.

    Nowadays, it's a joke. Hip hop -- for the most part -- is so mainstream and big rap stars are as much a creation of music labels as pop stars and country stars. There is no danger to calling out another rapper. There are no real consequences. Most rap beefs start with some smaller rapper calling out another rapper in a mix tape, the bigger rapper responds, they go back and forth a few times, Twitter explodes and everyone takes sides, then they jointly come out with some public statement that the beef has been squashed. If you get emotionally involved in one of these rap standoffs, you're an idiot.

    Rappers these days take on a gangsta/tough guy persona because that's what the rappers they grew up listening to did, but they don't seem to understand that, for the most part, the guys they grew up idolizing weren't creating a persona. That's who they were and where they came from.

    P.S. Drake and Common should hold hands and jump off a fucking cliff.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you so much for biting. This is so fun to gossip about.

      #1 - Some context - the beef started in 1999 when they were on tour together (with Roots and pre-Fergie, still decent, Black Eyed Peas - Phintastic and I have figured out we were actually at the same show in LA, and it was awesome). Anyway, when the tour started, Everlast was indeed the headliner. Eminem blew up during the course of the tour and what you're seeing is sort of the hip hop version of Elizabeth Shue and Sally Field in Soapdish, minus Kevin Kline, who is always terrific, have you noticed that? Anyway, to briefly - very briefly - stray away from Soapdish, Everlast went from being the "star" to being very much the supporting act in a matter of weeks, and that caused some obvious jealousy and tension. I think the hate was real and not done for publicity.

      #2 - I'm not sure how much danger there really was in getting in rap beefs in the 90s. Tupac and Biggie are outliers, and Pac in all likelihood was shot because he was a bigmouth who stepped into a turf beef over LA gang shit, not because Diddy Combs has a squad of killers or anything. If you go back and listen to Fuck Wit' Dre Day, you'll see that half of that track is about Ice Cube, but then the video was all about Eazy E. Why? Because Dre and Cube had already squashed the beef. Hell, Dre had some vicious Ice Cube disses in Let Me Ride and Cube appeared in the damn video for it. The Beastie Boys killed 3rd Bass's career, 3rd Bass killed Vanilla Ice's career, Vanilla Ice killed Hammer's career, and no one got shot. The Luniz and Too $hort made up. Ice Cube and Cypress Hill made up. It was all mostly for show.

      I'm not sure any of the 90s guys were real gangsters, or at least not the guys who were supposed to be gangsters. DJ Quik was a real gangster, but he was rapping about positive stuff for the most part. None of the NWA, Pac (who went to a fucking performing arts school), Biggie, etc. dudes were for real.

      Finally, Common used to make some really good stuff, and I honestly can say I have heard the name Drake and know through osmosis that he's on the Disney Channel or something, but could not pick him out of a crowd.

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    2. #1 - Well, apparently I should have done some research on the Eminem/Everlast beef other than just watching that YouTube clip. I assumed that the beef was much more recent, had no idea that it goes all the way back to '99. It makes perfect sense in that context. I've never seen Soapdish, and in fact, have seen surprisingly few Kevin Kline films. A brief look at his IMDB page reveals a ton of crappy crap.

      #2 - Your point that there's always been some degree of "fake gangska-ism" is true, but the number of "real" gangstas or guys from the streets was much higher back in the day than it is now. Tupac was a strange dichotomy as he was deeply involved in the arts, theater, and education, yet he came from some rough neighborhoods both on the east and west coasts. Biggie was definitely not a fake gangsta... the dude sold crack on the streets and carried a gun. Did he ever kill anyone or anything like that? Probably not... but the stories in his music were extrapolated from real life.

      Ice-T, Snoop, Easy, and Warren G were all very openly gang affiliated. Shit, Snoop even had to face murder charges. NWA had a bunch of drama that seems to have been settled peacefully, but, in general, it just seemed like it was a lot more dangerous to call out another rapper back then. Look at some of the biggest rappers today... Lil Wayne, Drake, Common, Kanye, etc... there's really no risk for a lower-level rapper to call out any of these guys. Kanye isn't putting a hit out on anyone. But back in the day, even a "pussy" like Diddy was packing heat in the club and almost went to prison for it.

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    3. #1 - Kevin Kline is awesome and is married to Phoebe Cates and I am sticking my fingers in my ears and will not believe he has ever done anything crappy.

      #2 - Pac was not from particularly rough neighborhoods out West. He grew up in a not good, not awful section of Baltimore, but by all reports, he never did anything particularly gangsterish in either locale. (He was like 10 when he left Baltimore, so that makes sense). We may have different definitions of what constitutes gangster. I think of gangster meaning, at minimum, someone who resorts to violence to settle issues. Biggie carried a gun to protect himself but so do lots of people, and if selling drugs makes you a gangster, then lots of guys in the lacrosse frat at UCSD are banging. Criminal, yes, gangster...eh?

      Ice-T by his own admission was never a gangster. He was in the army and then may have pimped a bit, but basically witnessed gang life without ever being actively involved in it.

      Snoop went to high school with Cameron Diaz and stayed out of trouble. When an actual crip rapper from Long Beach broke out, Domino, Snoop basically used his sway to run him out of the industry. Snoop's bodyguards did shoot someone with him in the car, but once you get big you can surround yourself with a dangerous entourage to create the appearance of street cred. Look at The Game, we know that in high school he was a skinny kid who appeared on Change of Heart (and whose girl had a change of heart) and who stayed out of trouble growing up, and now he surrounds himself with a lot of tough looking dudes. And Game not only sold drugs, he got shot selling drugs, but the near universal sentiment is that his gangster resume is entirely fabricated.

      Easy's parents were middle class and lived in a decent neighborhood. He seems to have been a bit of a street hustler who loved the lifestyle, but there's no indication he ever did anything particularly gangsterish.

      Warren G? Wasn't he Dr. Dre's little brother? Not a gangster.

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    4. I have more thoughts on this, but gotta run out for the night... fourth Saturday of the month means local NAMBLA chapter meeting. Hopefully I'll continue this ridiculous debate tomorrow.

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    5. Cool. I'll be on a flight most of the day but will check in during my layover. There's nothing like arguing about 1990s rapper gangster credentials via iPhone from a bar at DFW.

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    6. An actual black guyFebruary 25, 2012 at 9:58 PM

      The two of you arguing about this is hilarious.

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    7. I'm way out of my depth here, but when you do come back, can you address Jay-Z and 50 Cent? The former certainly claims he came up from the game and even ran a few blocks (he then says "you ask me which one? I ask you, 'how bad you want to know'" - to which I said "faily badly" towards my radio, only to be thoroughly annoyed as he moved on to other topics). The latter made his entire rep on his authenticity.

      Were they really gangsters? I have no idea, but I'm hoping you will educate me. Because, there is no one I would rather turn to for gangster deconstructions than two 30-something white guys (I keed, I keed - I am a late-30 something, practically ablino guy).

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    8. I don't have as much fire to debate this as I did a couple days ago... but I'll add a few more points.

      -- I was mistakenly using the term "gangsta" when I should have been using something more general like "street cred" or just "authenticity". Back in the day, it seemed like it was more important that you actually lived the life that you were rapping about in your songs. Tupac, Biggie, Snoop, Ice Cube and many others may not have necessarily been "gangstas", but there was no doubt that what they were rapping about were things that they had witnessed and grown up around. It's not like a rapper who came from a "good" background couldn't be successful, but it seemed like there was a limit to how much respect one could earn without have a real street background.

      Nowadays, it really doesn't matter what your background is. Kanye grew up in a middle-class household and is probably the biggest name in rap. Drake was a child star on a Disney show. J. Cole is from a middle-class military family. Not saying there's anything wrong with this (it should be about how good the music is, not how hard you had it growing up), just pointing out that the rap culture is different than it used to be.

      -- The reason I think it's different is simple: money. Rap went mainstream in the 90's and record companies didn't want to invest money in rappers that were thugs, criminals and public relations problems. Record companies want marketable artists, so "risky" artists had to go.

      -- The final point is that I'm so far out of my element here it's ridiculous. I'm a 30-something white guy who hasn't paid a ton of attention to the rap/hip-hop industry in quite some time... so really, no one should pay any attention to what I'm saying here because it's 90% pulled out of my ass.

      -- Final, final thought: Jay-Z is interesting because he did grow up in the projects and sold crack (he wrote about it in his autobiography and it hasn't been disproved) but it almost seems like he knew all along that he was going to be a rapper and just dabbled in the street culture to earn street cred. The dude is crazy smart and probably had everything mapped out in advance.

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