And Now for Your Entertainment: Bring in the Politicians

I was sitting down just the other night, wondering why it is that BP doesn’t have a forum for visual art entertainment, but includes politics. Now, if it were me, I would suggest political debates take place in the main forum. But as I began to think I realized that politics as a form of entertainment is not so surprising. After all, we see it nearly everyday, mixed in with Paris’ scandalous video and Ben and J.Lo’s turbulent relationship.
Society as a whole has grown much too fond of mindless entertainment. The masses will preoccupy themselves with almost anything; from the latest fashion trends, the popularity of awards shows (and that doesn’t include the Nobel Prize), to the kidnapping of that poor little girl somewhere in the Heartland. The media is guilty only of selling the public what it wants, after years of training, American society demands a gruesome sniper attack, a war and a public display of adultery. The media latches on to success and tragedy with equal force. Animation, foreboding voices and background music accompany the scenes portrayed on the television. But where is the media when there is good being done, when there are UN summits, when ‘boring’ but socially relevant news is being made? Where do the media stand when the truth is revealed? Well behind the curtains waiting to jump on the bandwagon of success and condemnation.
Now, let’s place a serious politician in the midst of this media carnival. How does a politician acquire votes and mass acceptance? Why, by pandering to the majority; and sadly that majority is not interested in politics merely for its worth in society. So while the family sits down to watch the latest Reality TV show, the politicians are studying demographics on what is most appealing to the masses. Hence Kerry, motorcycle hipster, appearing on a very high rated late night talk show. It’s an attention grabber, and sadly, it works and even becomes a deciding factor in the voting process. Although some might find that low, Kerry’s image as a ruggedly handsome man succeeded in scrapping the bottom of the approval barrel. Women over thirty-five have stated that they would vote for Kerry based solely on his sexual appeal and men identify with his rough and tumble, average man shtick.
Another prime example: the California public chooses, not a man that has a political background, but the man whose face they know best, to be governor. This isn’t to say Arnie doesn’t have some great ideas, he may in fact prove to be a very good governor. The trouble is, he walked away from political debates, didn’t have enough of a platform to hold up even one of his biceps, and routinely quoted his movie catch phrases to for possible leverage. Most of the public found this absurd and distasteful, yet he was still elected to office. So maybe Arnie is on to something, after all he is just an extreme example of the trend in American politics. Another actor-cum-politician, Ronald Regan was a bit more understated than Arnie, but none the less, he acquired some of his votes from adoring fans and people who merely recognized his face.
Beyond the public cry for entertainment in politics, some politicians are entertaining the US without even realizing. Take our current president for example, how many times has the media fawned over his many ‘Bushisms’. Yes, he does happen to say some very strange and confusing things, and yes, it is quite amusing. But while we are so focused on our president’s speech impediments (for lack of a better term) he has waged two wars and essentially rewritten the Bill of Rights. Once again, I exaggerate; Bush deserves a bit more credit for pulling the wool over the public’s eyes. However, it remains a fact that the media covers amusing, entertaining stories while more important events are occurring. The politicians know this and use it to their advantage. Another more innocent example is Kennedy. Young, handsome and popular with all the right people, Kennedy owed many of his votes to adoring women and men who admired his winsome ways. Who needs a platform when you have an ass like that?
Another important factor in the stage show of politics is drama. Americans cannot live without a little drama, especially if that drama happens to be scandal. In an over-sexualized society, any sexual scandal is more than welcome. We wag our fingers at the perpetrators of these serious crimes while we settle into our seats with our buckets of popcorn. Clinton is the ultimate example of such a scandal. What better that adultery in the White House to entertain a drama-starved nation? I am positive that there had to be something a little more worthy of the American public’s time in those months when the media focused solely on Clinton’s adulterous ways.
While politics have become a circus of popularity (eerily reminiscent of those high school student counsel elections), we as a people continue to ignore the polls every November. It seems that no matter how hard the politicians tap, their dance can’t quite bring the masses to the voting booths. Here’s where my great plan comes in: as an ultimate act of desperation, politicians for the Democratic ticket claim spots in the ultimate Reality TV show. Name it what you will. Banished to an island, the candidates must fight tooth and nail to claim the spots on the Democratic primary ticket. After months of grueling tasks and dangerous debates rife with wild animals, old lovers and house remodeling; the four ‘Surviving’ candidates are released in time for the election. This ensures the public a choice as well as assuring the politicians that their antics will earn them the votes of nearly every capable soul over 18.
Degrading? Perhaps, but it will guarantee fans�I mean voters. Here in the great land of America, there is nothing the powerful men won’t do for their public. There is no such thing as stooping to low. And we as a nation let our eyes glaze over, staring at the Idiot Box, watching the latest version of the political three ring circus. Even those of us conscious Americans seeking a better society and education over entertainment look on with nausea; craning our necks as if peering at a horrific accident, unable to look away. I will leave you now with these thoughts and return to my TV, after all, I’m just as willing as anyone to step on the crushed body of a nation if it means I get a great view of the curled heap of metal that is our government.

Open Mic W/ Bear Frazer

Holiday Season; one has to love it. It’s time to get ready for the Holidays to come, to spend time with friends and family, eating semi-decent food (instead of the caf�) and one month off from school. The bad part; final exams. I know everybody is going to be going through them soon enough, so I wish everyone good luck on the finals. In the meantime, read on, because I know you will. Like always, when Bear Frazer’s name is on anything, it means quality. BOO YA!

I would like to state that the Pfeiffer Review (literary magazine) will be coming out shortly. Their editor, Debbie Douglas did a mighty fine job with it. Here’s a big reason to check it out: I am in it! I won a poetry contest last semester and my poem, “Tunnel Vision” won the contest. You know what that means, right? That means Bear F’N Frazer is taking over the whole F’N world! Mwuahahaha!

Wes Borland (former Limp Bizkit guitarist) has been keeping somewhat of a low profile as of late. After one year of searching for lead singers, he has yet to found one, and this is what led to his decision to put his music project, Eat The Day, on the shelf. He felt none of the potential singers were right because, “no one was right for a long-term commitment.” Very well, but even though he has temporarily moved Eat The Day to the backburner, Borland is looking at a career of producing. He has been working with Danny Lohner to produce music for the “Underworld” soundtrack. He’s also been in talks to work with rock acts such as Evanescence, Trust Company, and Keith Flint from Prodigy. I think this is a good step for Wes, no doubt about it. Honestly though, he has so many fans of his guitar playing. He has such a style when he plays and performs that he just grabs the crowd. I know a lot of fans want to see him back, including me. I hope he finds a lead singer soon and gets Eat The Day going.

In other news, it is official; Suge Knight no longer owns the worst record label name. Irv Gotti and Ja Rule have that claim of fame now, as they officially changed the name of their label, “Murder Inc.,” to simply, “The Inc.” I would inform all of you as to why there is a name change, but Irv Gotti has yet to release a comment. My guess is that his role model is Suge Knight. Originally, Suge changed “Death Row’s” name to “Tha Row,” so Irv Gotti must be following in his footsteps. Before you know it, Irv Gotti will probably start beating the crap out of his employees like Suge Knight has in the past. Ashanti will probably be whacked first out of “The Inc.,” crew of artists. Maybe Irv will copy Suge to a tee and go to jail. Now wouldn’t that be great? HOLLA!

There is a movie out called “Tupac Resurrection.” Right now, that is the only movie I would want to see that is out in theatres. What I’m wondering about is whether or not this is a sign of things to come. Confused? Want some clarity? Fine, here’s your stinkin’ clarity. There has been a huge rumor going around since Tupac Shakur’s death that he is alive and will one day return. Little funny that this movie is coming out around the same time Tupac is supposed to reappear. Makes ya wonder, doesn’t it? Just something you should think about.

Cypress Hill is back in the studio right now, recording their follow-up to their 2001 album, Stoned Raiders. The group will be doing a little bit of experimenting with their new album, Till Death do us Part, by adding a bit of a reggae feel to their songs. Reggae is starting to get big too … once Sean Paul came out with his album, Duty Rock, a revolution of sorts began. You can expect about five of them to be straight up reggae and the other ten to be straight up hip-hop. The reason why the band hasn’t made another album is due largely in part to expand their musical horizons, which I completely understand. Let’s face it; when there is a group who has been together for fourteen years like Cypress Hill, you can only play the same style of music for so long. There have been tons of bands who have crossed over into various genres of music and styles. Take Incubus for example. S.C.I.E.N.C.E. was pretty heavy, Make Yourself was more mellow, and Morning View was light rock, or what I like to call, “beach music,” and god, that album really annoyed me for a while. Limp Bizkit has even gotten heavier with their new stuff. I’m looking very forward to this album because I’m a big Cypress Hill fan. I saw an awesome quote on that perfectly describes them and it goes like this: “Roots, reggae, marijuana, and the whole feel has always been synonymous with Cypress Hill.” If that isn’t true, then what is?

That’s it for this issue of Open Mic. I’m hoping everybody has a Happy Holiday, and just like always, if you don’t agree with what I say (not that I could care less), then send a letter to the editor to And, if you don’t like that, then obviously … YOU CAN’T SEE ME!

Related Sites to artists in Open Mic
Pfeiffer University
Eat The
Ja Rule and Murder Inc.

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Ravenous Movie Rants

Well. I’m back after a hiatus. I’m sure none of you missed me, but that goes without saying.

I’ve decided, under the circumstances, to turn this column into a bi-weekly one. If I keep it weekly, I’ll be booted off the writing staff faster than you can say “COW MILK!”

And as you can see, I’ve decided on a title for this column (in no way is it definite, by the way… I was thinking “Raven is Wrong, You are Right”, but Runty wouldn’t allow it), and as you can see, I’ve decided to focus this column on movies in general, from the ancient silent black-and-white movies to the latest releases, I’ll be ranting about any movies under the sun.

And today, I’m going to talk about a fairly recent movie: Daddy Day Care.

Eddie Murphy, a famous comedian and actor, had been on a downturn in the recent years. To be blunt, his recent films sucked.

But along came Daddy Day Care. The movie is actually decent, and funny. Humor for all ages is the ticket for Eddie it seems. The adult humor movies Eddie attempted in the past few years blew chunks. But the “for-all-ages” funnies, Murphy soared. If I’m his manager, I’d encourage him to continue the trend Daddy Day Care resurrected.

Anyway, back to DDC, it’s a movie about two guys who fall on hard times after being laid off from a well-paying job. They get the brilliant idea of forming a day care program to make quick cash. Well they soon find out that it’s not as easy as they thought. Plus they got a prestigious preschool education “institute” on their back for actually competing with them.

I actually enjoyed the movie, counter to my expectations. I caught this on the university movie channel, and thought, what the hell and watched it. Not bad at all. If you like Eddie Murphy, and remember the days when he’s actually decent, watch this movie.

Raven out.

Tales from the Bishop…4?

In Arkansas, there is a little town you might have heard of. It’s kind of off-the-map, but if you look for it, you will be rewarded by what you find. This town’s name is Conway, population 40,000.
Conway is in the middle of Arkansas. It’s weather changes often, from rainy to sunny. Most months of the year, it’s hot, but it does snow often, also.
Like most of Arkansas, Conway is rather boring. If you look hard enough, you can find things to do. For example, you can bowl here. You can’t drink and bowl, but you can bowl. Which is fun, I guess. We also have parties. These are always put to a quick end by our crack local police force. Here lives Bryan Bishop. Here lives he.
What began as an English draft of my Spanish composition has suddenly become my column. Hoo-fuckin’-ray.
Allright, folks, as you might have noticed, I’ve-a been busy lately, doin’ shit, and because of that, no columns for a while. No biggie. I’m sure you have stuff to do also, and it gets in the way of writin’ columns nobody reads. Well, congrats. I found the time. And the thing is, I’m getting graded for it.


Now, a little about me. As you know, I used to be one of them “Nice Guys”. You know who I’m talking about. “I’m a nice guy! I’m in love! Love is great! Everything’s great! Isn’t that great?”
But here’s the secret… that girl I’m in love with? She loves somebody else. AWWW! So now I’m like… “Dangit, he’s boning her and not me, I’m so nice, so nice guys finish last…”
Hold on a minute.
I know I’m not the first person to ever spout off that bullshit, and I won’t be the last. But I can tell you right now that I’m never going to say it again. It’s fallacious. Have you ever ogled at a car accident? Cut in front of a disabled person in line? Watched Monster Garage? Then you, my friend, are not a “Nice Guy”. You’re an asshole like the rest of us.
Which brings me to my upcoming series of columns.


1. Treating women with (undue) respect
2. Owing money to a friend.
3. Saying “Nice guys finish last”
4. Whining about your boyfriend to a fat guy (girls only).
5. Effeminate high fives
6. Annoying mannerisms
7. Bad rap music

These seven things piss me off to no end. Noooooo end. They weigh on my karma and my chi until I’m about to grab a meat cleaver and start chopping off jawbones. They make me want to tear my head off and hurl it at the initiates of these horrible, horrifying, horrendous mannerisms. I’m not talking once in a while… I’m talking about all the time. Guys who play that retarded “diamond something I’m crazy bout Bentleys”… song. Guys who walk up to you in a pink shirt…then raise their hand and CARESS yours. Guys who utter the same obnoxious fake laugh more than twenty-seven times per minute. Girls who have cheated, whined, irritated, slapped, and basically castrated their boyfriends, yet still find themselves justified in complaining if he plays Xbox too much. I’m talking about this stuff.

This stuff, ladies and gentlemen, is going to push this overweight Arkansan to tears.
…but not today. No, children, I have to get to work. So tune in next week for part one of my series, and remember…

“Give a man a fish, and he can fish for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he can fish for a lifetime.”-George W. Bush

The New Age of Alternative Rock

Kurt’s voice welcomes me from across the room, droning the lyrics to “Polly” in his raspy voice. The words remind me of an age past and the real sound of rock and roll that spoke to a generation. With the death of Cobain, among other unsavory choices from other grunge rock bands (eg. Pearl Jam), the death of grunge was merciless and swift. Ushered in was an age of image obsession, candy-coated over produced music and the practice of selling sex with innocence. Now even rock music is tainted with the prefabricated, commercialized sound of popular music. Musicians such as The Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears have contributed to a world in which alternative rock seems to have no place.

The in-your-face style and lyrics of bands such as Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins gathered a huge following. Disgruntled fans were forced to find music satisfaction underground after the sound of alternative rock died on the mainstream airwaves. The underground movement has been on the rise and from it a new sound has risen. The emergence of the new alternative rock has finally found its way back to the radio waves and the music media has pounced on the new sound of rock and roll like a starved dog on a 3 pound steak. For the first time since the death of grunge rock in the mid 1990’s there is inspiring, original and powerful music that doesn’t give in to the corporate regulations. Rather than an imitation of the sounds of alternative rock past, the new movement claims a sound and style all its own. However, at the soul of this movement lives the true spirit of the alternative lifestyle. The music doesn’t seek acceptance, or to be appropriate and it does not seek airtight perfection. Rather, it is raw, real music, the anti-hero of modern music. Many bands have sprung onto the scene, a few of which have recently grabbed a sliver of the spotlight.
The new sound of alternative rock incorporates grunge rock, punk rock and a bit of good old rock ‘n roll. Music from The White Stripes has a more classical feel, composed of impressive guitar lines as well as a deep reverberating march to their drum beats. Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, bring an almost offensive vibe to their music, with wild lyrics and unexpected changes in pitch and rhythm. Thoughtful, simple yet graphic lyrics from Hot Hot Heat create a poetry that assaults the listener. The Strokes incorporate a traditional rock feel with a bit of technology in their sound. Altogether the new wave in alternative music inspires a feeling that has been missing in music as of late. All of the new alternative rock bands have in common an apathetic attitude. They are down to earth ‘rock stars,’ acknowledging the messiness of life, and not caring if anyone thinks it improper to expose the dark side of simplicity.

The White Stripes� who have created four albums to date� jumped into the spotlight with their critically acclaimed album, White Blood Cells. As the forerunners in the movement, The White Stripes compose music with steady drumbeats and amazing guitar riffs, stylistically reminiscent of both Hendrix and Cobain. The duo�Jack White on guitar and vocals and his ex-wife, Meg White, on drums� create a musical sound that is both retro and ultra-modern. The lyrics exemplify simplicity while maintaining a thought provoking mystery. In “Seven Nation Army” the first track and first single off the latest album (Elephant) a strong, slow drum beat accompanied by an eerie bass line leads the way into fitful bursts of music that liven up the eerie presence of the song. The strength of these chorus rifts mixed with a solid beat and incredible lyrics like: “Everyone knows about it, from the Queen of England to the Hounds of Hell” and “All the words are gonna bleed from me, and I will sing no more” create a graphic, assaulting song.

Humming in a washed out, electrified voice, Julian Casablancas creates a tranquil mood while maintaining an electricity through provoking lyrics. Lead man for The Strokes, Casablancas has a sound that is not readily replicated in the new genre. Almost blas�, The Strokes exemplify rock star; the five exude a Euro-hipness. Slow and steady, the band builds up their sound to an electrifying high blending all the elements of good alternative music together so that the music itself stands out, rather than particular elements. Some songs, like “New York City Cops”�pulled from release in the U.S. after 9/11�are filled with a raucous sound and message; while others, like Soma seem to croon while building up. The tension in the songs is as natural and intense as the stretch of a muscle, steadily pulling until the ligament of the music snaps in a final stretch to reveal a sound as red and raw as the pain of a retracted muscle.

“I’ve been poking a voodoo doll that you do not know I made of you, let’s see what needles do,” proclaims Steve Bays of Hot Hot Heat. Hailing from Canada, Hot Hot Heat infuses lively rock music with talented drumming and keyboard as well as wordplay that is both dark and emotional. Not newcomers to the scene, after a slew of albums and EP’s, Hot Hot Heat has finally risen to get the respect they deserve with their latest musical endeavor, Make Up the Breakdown. Their first single, quoted above, is the electrically charged “Bandages.” A microcosm of the new wave alternative music, “Bandages” proclaims injury, revenge and heart-break with surprisingly up-beat enthusiasm. The bands way with words and their vivacious approach to music give them an uncommon sound.

Similarly, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s have created a truly unique sound with a similar feel. Essential to their sound is the rasp and somewhat violent croonings of Karen O. Like Meg White, Karen O. embodies the female presence in the world of rock and roll. She is the antithesis of the perky, over-sexualized pop idol, resembling the members of the femme grunge band, Hole. The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s unique sound� incorporating the furious style of 1980’s thrash punk, with themes reminiscent of traditional garage rock bands� is incomparable. “I’ve gotta man that makes me wanna kill…yeah, we’re all gonna burn in hell…” The shocking lyrics taste of violent brilliance as well as proclaim the title of their first full length album, Fever to Tell. Once again, thoughtful and talented wordplay leads the way to brilliant music. In their first single, “Date with the Night,” there is an assault of the senses. The graphic yet simplistic images with shifts in rhythm make for a rather invasive and compelling song. The brilliance of the in-your-face style is derived from strong, unexpected guitar lines and soul shaking drum beats as well as powerful and distinct vocals.

Whether it be a slow and determined drill of music into the skull, the thrashings of a gloriously composed set of lyrics, or raw and unabashed style; alternative rock is stomping down the zombies of a pop-culture generation to reclaim the life of rock and roll. I feel fortunate to have been a little part of the grunge rock generation. It saddens me to know that those only a few years younger have been denied music that speaks to the soul and confronts the normal with brilliant flashes of the absurd. The hope of a lost generation lays in the hands of a new movement in rock. It is my hope that alternative rock can rise from the depths of the damp garage to form a new army.

Suggested Listening:
Yeah Yeah Yeah’s: “Date with the Night”, “Man”, “Black Tongue”
White Stripes: “Jimmy the Exploder”, “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”, “Hotel Yorba”, “Seven Nation Army”, “There’s no Room for You Here”
Hot Hot Heat: “Bandages”, “Talk to me Dance with Me”, “Le Le Low”, “5 Times Out of 100”
The Strokes: “New York City Cops”, “Take it or Leave it”, “Soma”
Nirvana: “Polly”, “Rape Me”, “Pennyroyal Tea”, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Heart Shaped Box”
Smashing Pumpkins: “Today”, “Tonight”, “Cherub Rock”, “Zero”, “Quiet”
Pearl Jam: “Alive”, “Yellow Ledbetter”, “Go”, “Corduroy”, “Better Man”, “Black”, “Daughter”
Hole: “Violet”, “Doll Parts”, “Jennifer’s Body”
Some other bands worth listening to: Everclear, Sonic Youth, The Vines, The Hives, Better than Ezra, Weezer, Live

Review: Limp Bizkit – "Results May Vary"

Almost three years has gone by and all music fans have heard from limpbizkit was talk: talk about their new guitarist (Mike Smith), talk about album titles, and talk about Fred Durst (limpbizkit Singer) about having crushes with certain females in the music industry. Nearly three years after they released The Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, limpbizkit unleashed their latest album in stores on September 23rd, 20003, Results May Vary. This album by far has been the biggest test the band has faced because they don’t know how music fans will respond to an album that did not include their original guitarist (Wes Borland) and they don’t know how fans will like their new style, appropriately named Results May Vary.

Before I go into the music of the album, let’s discuss some of the background on it. The cover of the CD Case is green and features Fred Durst screaming with the limpbizkit logo and album title on the upper right hand corner. The actual CD itself is white and has red writing on it in the form of a road sign. Once you take the disk out of the case, it shows pills in a bottle, revealing that once you open the CD, you consume what it contains. The new guitarist is Mike Smith from the band “Snot,” and the group has changed the spelling of their name; it is no longer spelled Limp Bizkit, but as one word with all the letters in lower case: limpbizkit.

The lead off track is “Eat You Alive,” which is a song about how badly a man wants to get with a chick (maybe for the wrong reasons) who doesn’t like him, but the man still has eyes for her. The song contains mostly heavy riffs, singing, and screaming, which hasn’t been typical for the band, which usually has mellower sounds and rapping. The video features the band performing in almost utter darkness. There is a lady who is tied up to a chair while Fred Durst yells the lyrics to her in his megaphone. It is an interesting video, to say the least.

The next single on the way is a cover of The Who’s, “Behind Blue Eyes.” In my opinion, it sounds similar to The Who’s version, but with a more modern sound, one that limpbizkit pulls off.

One of the catchiest tunes on the album is “Red Light-Green Light” by limpbizkit and Snoop Dogg. Snoop Dogg stepped into the studio with Fred Durst and they were freestyling the song. Snoop didn’t even have to write his lyrics on paper; he constructed his rap in his head. The hook is what I enjoy. As Fred and Snoop trade off rapping, “Red Light-Green Light, Red Light-Green Light, Red Light-Green Light, Red Light-Green Light, Red Light-Green Light, You ready to roll? Tell me when you’re ready to go, Tell me when your ready to roll.” Once this is rapped, it gets stuck in your mind … or mine at least.

There are some other songs I thoroughly enjoy on this album. These happen to be the three harder songs, which involve rapping on the album. “Gimmie a mic,” has hard guitar riffs and screaming in it, which talks about Fred wanting to grab the microphone and lashing out at people who get under his skin. “Phenomenon” is about what people think is about Fred but he says he’s just a phenomenon. Lastly, “Creamer (All Radio is Dead)” has a calm and eerie sound to it and it’s like Fred is talking to a kid he is angry at about his past. It seems that he is mad about how much things have changed and he seems like he is taking his verbal abuse on the kid. With the lyrics like, “So you think that you’re all that and some, I got news for you,” it hints to me that this kid from the past he is talking to could indeed be himself. Fred Durst has said in numerous interviews that he has made peace with himself, so this song could be an example that he knows he has thought highly about himself but is no at peace with his past.

Overall, I had mixed thoughts on this album: my end result had varied. I like parts of the album and I think the writing did better. I feel limpbizkit has evolved, but I did not feel every song on the album. Results May Vary has been the second limpbizkit album that did not go platinum immediately or score number one on the Billboard 200 Chart. The last time this happened was in 1997 when they released their debut album, Three Dollar Bills, Y’all! (The albums scoring #1 and going platinum were their second album, Significant Other and their third album, Chocolate Starfish and Hot Dog Flavored Water). This could be due to the reason of Wes Borland leaving and/or lack of proper advertising, and I say this because I’m a huge limpbizkit fan and I forgot when their album came out (If I don’t know, then who does?). After this extensive review, I give limpbizkit’s Results May Vary 3 Stars.

-To find out more about limpbizkit, go to or

Zack is Right, You are Wrong Vol 1, Issue 2.

Zack is Right, You are Wrong Vol 1, Issue 2.

Sup, sup everyone? Alright, we had to skip last week due to just too much shiznit going on, but we’re back. My gaming time has fluctuated from the last installment. Instead of Madden 2004 and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, I’ve been priming myself for the release of Monster Rancher 4 by playing a lot of Monster Rancher 3 and Monster Rancher Advance 2. Both games are totally awesome and I can’t wait for MR4.

You may remember that I was pumped that MR4 was to come out the day after Smackdown 5, but those bastards over at Tecmo decided that I could wait another month. I tell you what, they were solid wrong! So I go into work on the Friday after it was supposed to come out and BLAM! I’m hit with the terrible news that we won’t be receiving the wonderful bounty that is Monster Rancher 4 until November 18. So, I’ve been damned patient, but I’m starting to get TOO anxious. I want my game and I want to piss my roommates off by playing it when they want to watch Sportscenter. Is that too much to ask? I didn’t think so.

Alright, so let’s pick up a game to review. I guess I promised a complete review of Smackdown 5, didn’t I? Ok, so let’s get to it.

Smackdown 5! Here Comes the Pain.

From the last column “It’s more in depth than any other Smackdown game. The grappling system has been revised and split into four categories. Quick moves, Power moves, Submission moves, and Signature moves. The initial grapple is to chose which one of these categories you want to choose a move from. Then you are put into one of a few different animations from test of strength to hand shake to pick your move in typical THQ game fashion.

The season mode already looks a lot more promising than Smackdown 4’s mode. Instead of having to wander around the arena aimlessly looking for people to talk to, you are given a choice of places to go and if people are there or not. Sometimes they are there, sometimes they are not. This is good though, I don’t have to go through the entire arena just to find Test wandering around again to give me a one liner wishing me luck. No, everything has a point now and that makes me happy.”

The updated version of my commentary would be that the season mode, while good probably once as a face and once as a heel, loses it after that. I got the same storylines when I was on Smackdown as I did on Raw. That was no good. Also Vince likes to switch back and forth from evil Vince to face Vince on occasion, without warning, thus pissing me off. Eric Bischoff doesn’t have too much of a role and Stone Cold is a wrestler and not a co-GM. Oh, and does anyone remember the Wheel of Destiny that Eric did in Vegas? Well, if you’re on Smackdown, that dumb bitch Stephanie McMahon steals his idea when you pas through Vegas! And what’s with no Tazz and Michael Cole on Smackdown? They’re models in the game, would it have been so hard to program Tazz in Lawler’s spot and Cole in JRs? No, it wouldn’t have. Bastards…

Enough about the season mode. Now, let’s go into the CAW mode. Well, think Smackdown 4 and then take away such things as body hair!!!!!1!1!!!!1!!! You have no idea how pissed I was when the only body hair I found was a skin type and didn’t even have hair in all the right places. How in the hell am I supposed to make a ZRM CAW when there is no choice for body hair unless it is hideous red and not in the right spots???? I’ll tell you how, you can’t make a good one~! I don’t really like the way you choose a type of clothing, then the pattern. That’s kind of dumb to have 76 pages of patterns that no one is going to use. Seems like a waste of space that they could have put in things that people wanted. Like body hair~! Yeah, I’m a bit bitter and I deserve to be. You don’t agree with that? You’re wrong, get over yourself.

I still like the gameplay. I totally kick the hell out of my roommates who all like to strike and that’s it. I’m the champion of the room and anyone who wants to challenge me can eat my schlong, cause I’d beat them like I plan on beating my children. Don’t like that? You’re wrong, get over it. So now, we want a final score, eh? Well, it lost half a point.

Smackdown 5 original score, 7.5.
Smackdown 5 Complete score, 7.

The graphics are awesome, except for Cena, who looks more like a retarded ape. The sound reeks some major heinousity. Again, think, Smackdown 4. It’s the same gameplay music and guess what?! The fools decided not to liscense some of the wrestlers themes again! And the legends, they have no music or video! I was looking forward to the Undertaker’s theme and to the LOD’s theme and to DiBiase’s theme, but no, I got hosed. The gameplay is where the game shines. Best gameplay from a Smackdown game yet. The submissions turn into a button mash fest which can always be hilarious. The CAW pisses me off because of no body hair and I refuse to talk about it anymore.

Final thoughts on Smackdown 5: It’s the best Smackdown game yet, so you might as well pick it up, because unless THQ makes Wrestlemania XX perfect, it’s the best wrestling game they’ll have for awhile.

So now you’ve finally got my full review on Smackdown 5. Was it all you hoped for? No? Well then you’re wrong for hoping for so much, go listen to some stupid Emo music you dork. Quit making gamers look bad. Now we’re going to go to the classic gaming moment before we hit up the disappointment of the week.

I love RPGs and I’m not ashamed to say it. In fact, if you don’t like RPGs, then you’re wrong. You don’t deserve to live because you’re a lying sack of Bantha fodder. Did you catch the Star Wars reference? Good, you’d be an idiot if you didn’t. That’s right, this next game is going to be a Star Wars game. This game is perhaps the greatest game on a “Next-Gen” platform. I hate saying that because the “Next-Gen” platforms are in development, not what is out now. Anyway, the XBox’s only claim to staying a major competitor (other than the fact that if you mod your XBox you have the ultimate gaming machine) is Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

The first to words that came to my mind when I first popped the game in was “shit” and “holy”, not necessarily in that order. This game is ever Star Wars fan’s dream. And if you also love D&D, this is your very own wet dream. Yup, think Neverwinter Nights. It’s just like that except in a 3D Star Wars based world. And unlike Star Wars Galaxies (A major disappointment for another day) this game runs perfect because it was developed for the hardware provided~!

Is it just me, or is using the dominate mind force power the greatest feeling in the world? Of course it is, I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t. Traveling from planet to planet, chilling with the awesome Mandalorian by the name of Canderous Ordo, slicing chumps up alongside your jedi companion Jolee Bindo, or ripping the arms off some chumps with your very own life debted Wookie, Zaalbar. Damn skippy it sounds great doesn’t it? Well if you said it doesn’t, you are dead wrong. Stop reading my column now and go listen to your stupid Emo music before I come in and shoot you to put you out of your misery.

No, in fact this game is the only reason to have an XBox, unless you are a 1337 |-|4>Zack the Mack Macomber

Wasted Words 6

Recommended download: ThursdayJet Black New Year

Hey everyone, it’s me again. I’ve come to brainwash you and rule the world with you as my slaves. Eh, not really. But I am gonna talk shit about some music, maybe some movies, and maybe just for the hell of it I’ll throw in some literature too. Possibly. I just got the December issue of Alternative Press in the mail. It’s an excellent issue. Brand New is on the cover, and there’s articles on Avenged Sevenfold, Anti-Flag, and Blink 182. After reading the Blink article, I’m even more excited about their new self-titled album. Which, by the way, comes out on November 18. I picked up two new albums tonight. The new Kid Rock album and the Tupac: Resurrection soundtrack. The Kid Rock album is decent, though not his best. It’s a lot more mellow than his previous effort, Cocky, which I think was his best. One good thing is, with the exception of two or three tracks, he seems to have abandoned the rap-rock style that made him famous. It’s more of a country-rock, blues record. I haven’t listened to Tupac: Resurrection yet, but I’m sure it’ll be good. I am a bit disappointed though as I thought it was all going to be new or remixed songs. There’s only 3 new or remixed songs on the whole album. While it doesn’t make it a bad album, it’s not exactly what I had expected.

Universal Music announced Tuesday that it will purchase Dreamworks Records, for a reported $100 million. Dreamworks is home to bands like AFI, All American Rejects, Saves the Day, and most recently Brand New, and Rise Against. This leaves me to wonder what will happen to bands like Saves the Day and Rise Against, who might not pull in the album sales that a major label such as Universal might expect.

You can stream the new Blink 182 album from the MTV web site on The Leak. What I’ve listened to so far, it sounds like some of their best work yet.

There is a Goonies sequel in development. I don’t know if this could be as good as the first one. I’m sure Chunk is all grown up by now. Damnit.

There’s also a Scooby Doo sequel in the works. It’s set to hit theaters in March. Hopefully it’s as good as the original. What? Surely I’m not the only one who thought Scooby Doo was a cool movie.

Since there’s not too much interesting shit going on in music this week, I’ll finish this up early. I would like to comment on some things that have gone on in the forums, most notably the music forum. There is a lot of bickering back and forth over which band is best, what music is shit and what’s not, and on and on. I’m all for reasonable debate and I’m all for sticking up for a band that you enjoy, but there is such a thing as going overboard. There’s no reason to personally insult someone for the type of music they enjoy. That’s just ridiculous and downright prejudice. So not everyone thinks Kurt Cobain is some kind of music God, and not everyone can get into emo music or pop-punk. Big deal. Everyone has their own opinion and they’re entitled to it. They’re also entitled to be respected for their opinion. So let’s all just be cool, get along, and try to have a good time in the forums.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m out. Peace.

Wasted Words 5

Recommended download: Simply a beautiful song. Leonard CohenIf It Be Your Will

Joke of the day: How many emo kids does it take to screw in a light bulb? Punchline at end of article

Hey everyone. It’s me again, back to the same routine. Hope you enjoyed last weeks column on Halloween, as I enjoyed writing it. I know it was different from what I usually write, and didn’t include much about music. I did throw in a recommendation and some song lyrics though. Hey, it counts. For this weeks column, I had originally planned on writing a review of the new Anti-Flag album, The Terror State, but that fell through. I’ve been pretty busy this week. Between doctors appointments, work, and Halloween celebrations, I didn’t have much time to myself. I’m still planning to review the album though, so look for it in the next week or two. New music for this week; I got Punk Goes Acoustic, which was finally released after months of setbacks. It’s got a lot of great bands on it, such as Finch, Thursday, Rise Against, and From Autumn to Ashes. My favorite song on the album is Memory by Sugarcult. Even if you’re not a fan of the band (which I’m not much of) but you enjoy acoustic music, you should check out this song. I just bought Story of the Year, Page Avenue, earlier today. So far what I’ve heard, it’s a great album. Until the Day I Die is a great song. I picked up a new DVD this week. I was at Meijer Monday night at midnight to make sure I got a copy of Finding Nemo on DVD. It was the first movie my two year old ever saw in the theater, and she liked it. I watched it for the first time yesterday, and it’s a pretty cool show.

P. Diddy has been accused of using sweatshops to manufacture his Sean John clothing line. So that’s how he can afford all that bling bling and Crystal by the case! By the way, am I hallucinating or is he sporting a mohawk now? In related news, Roc-A-Wear is also made in the same factory.

A movie/documentary about Tupac Shakur, titled Tupac: Resurrectin, will be hitting theaters soon and it should be great. If you’re a fan of Pac’s work, as I am, you should definitely check it out. I only hope it’s better than every other “documentary” that’s been made since his death. Most of them just seem to capitalize on his name and use it to sell videos. They never really feature any decent information on the slain rapper. There will be a soundtrack to accompany the movie as well, which features Eminem as the producer. Should be great stuff all around.

Will someone please tell Murphy Lee that he can’t rap? Adding Nelly and Jermaine Dupree to your song won’t make you sound any better either. These damn “bling bling” rappers, as I like to call them, they’re ruining hip hop.

Avenged Sevenfold have signed to Warner Bros. records, leaving behind their former label, Hopeless. They’re an amazing band, and if this is what they feel is right for them, so be it. Good for them. If you want to read the bands comments on the situation, you can check it out on their website. Avenged Sevenfold I can hear the elitist assholes bitching and moaning as I type this though. You can’t see it, but I’m giving you all the middle finger right now.

Punchline: Who cares, let them all cry in the dark.

For the record, I have nothing against emo as a form of music or emo kids themselves. In fact, I like a lot of emo music. I saw it on a T-shirt and thought it was funny.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m out. Peace.

Buried Treasure – Review: "Astrocreep 2000" by White Zombie

Fast Facts

CD Title: “Astrocreep 2000”
Artist: White Zombie
Released: 1996
Standout Tracks: “I, Zombie”, “Real Solution #9”, “More Human Than Human”

Not too long ago, Rob Zombie’s lastest album, “Past, Present, and Future” hit record store shelves. Along with Zombie’s solo work, the new disc featured some old classics from White Zombie, where it all started.

With Halloween a few days ago, I figured that now would be the perfect time to review this album in Buried Treasure. “Astrocreep 2000” is one of, if not the greatest albums in the history of metal. Combining elements of industrial and techno with traditional metal and some strange sound effects work, Astrocreep is a defining moment in metal on the whole.

The first track, “Electric Head Part 1(The Agony)” displays the aforementioned sound effects work more than an y other track on the album, with the first minute or so building into the track with weird effects and voice-overs. This is followed up by “Super-Charger Heaven”, a thundering symphony of metal riffs with some voice-over stuff put in for good measure. “Real Solution Number 9”, one of the best tracks on the album, is up next. I’m not even going to describe this one, hear it for yourself, it’ll be better that way.

I’ll skip ahead a bit now, up to “I, Zombie”, which features, among other things, a sample of a classical song, a goat bleeting, and one of the catchiest riffs ever. Everybody taking the time to read this should do themselves a favour and listen to this song. And read my other columns. “More Human Than Human”, the eighth and probably best known song, is an amalgam of industrial metal and techno beats with Rob Zombie’s strangely distorted voice crooning along with it.

And thusly, my slacker review has come to a close. Honestly, I shouldn’t even have to be hyping this album, because it really shouldn’t even be buried treasure, it should be credited in a hall of fame somewhere, but alas, it is buried, and so shows up here. Thank you, and good night.