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How much of a “Real Thing” was Sandy?

November 1st, 2012 by
Harlem Hurricane Hunt results in disappointing lack of unimaginable carnage

Looks pretty damn “real” to me, the dead, and all the people still without power and water.
But what the hell do I know? I’m just the guy who captions the photos.


In Which I Decide to Fight a Hurricane

In the days leading up to her arrival, Hurricane Sandy had been hyped by meteorologists in windbreakers, 24-hour newscasters, and your friends on Facebook as some sort of “Megastorm.” It was like that movie, The Perfect Storm, except that instead of being a movie you caught on cable/a flight, it was a real thing in real life that you could participate in. By texting or tweeting jokes. Or by asking your buddies, Google and Siri, about it. Or by getting bored and accidentally passing through CNN2 Territory. But what ended up going down, when Sandy finally hit the East Coast, was an unprecedented clusterfuck of publicly-conducted reports, experiences, and perceptions, and a bunch of wind and rain and snow and floods. Having thrown myself needlessly into the mess through a convoluted concatenation of events, I am still reeling in confusion. What really happened? Read More

9 Comments

Free Porn!

June 11th, 2011 by

Or: What I Learned at the Sex Convention

Dating Advice

Last weekend, I abused my “media credentials” to get into the Everything To Do With Sex Show at Scotiabank Convention Center in Niagara Falls (Canada Side). And though I tried desperately to find a Story, I have to shamefully admit that I got nothin’.  So, in order to justify the $40 or so bucks I shelled out for gas, tolls, parking, and overpriced convention beer, here is a quick rundown of Sex Convention snippets – followed by some free porn.

10) Sadly, “Sex Convention” does not mean “Filthy Den Full of Hookers and Debauchery.” Which was the only fucking reason I went.

9) “Sex Convention” actually means “A Bunch of Booths Selling Vibrators.”

8) There are probably a ton of people out there living with the shame of having slept with Sex Show MC and “Canadian Assman” Uncle D.

7) While I was nervous that I’d consumed alcohol before crossing the border, I learned that if you tell the Border Patrol Agent that you are attending a “Sex Convention” and the only things you are taking with you are “a notebook and, like, some other stuff,” they will let you through without hassling you or searching your vehicle. Smugglers, take heed.

6) The convention attendees weren’t a bunch of degenerate swingers (as I had anticipated). It was mostly middle aged couples trying to “rekindle the flame” and groups of 30-year-old provincial girls in designer jeans who probably think that they “get so crazy” when they go out with their “bitches” but the craziest thing they do is drink slightly too much vodka-cranberry and go home with the sucky, tribal-tattooed dudes who beat them at darts.

5) American Border Patrol Agents are about the same as their Canadian counterparts. Even if you tipsily blast through the stop sign before the booth, all they really do is give you sterner looks and take slightly longer before they stupidly let you through.

4) Given the amount of typos and grammatical errors in the press materials I received beforehand, I don’t think it was entirely out of line for me to assume that this convention would actually be a “Filthy Den Full of Hookers and Debauchery.”

3) I attended an informational seminar about “The Lifestyle” (Swinging). Turns out, modern Wife-Swapping came about amongst American Air Force pilots who forged deep interpersonal bonds in the face of high mortality rates during World War II. So yeah, you learn something new every day.

2) I’d probably name drop some of the vendors if I’d’ve gotten more free stuff. That’s journalism.

1) Up For Grabs: The event organizers were handing out promotional gift cards for various porn websites, and since I love you – The Reader – so much, I’m going to list the download codes below. You’re welcome. Just do me a favor and picture Ian Murphy’s face as you bring yourself to a gross, sweaty climax.

hotmovies.com/card

3887-4672-4992-8209

3887-4766-2525-5114

3887-4674-9980-9049

3887-4673-4482-3581

cam4.com/goldpromo

2865 / vj5pc

2866 / kufcy

2867 / nx7z4

2930 / phk1m
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The Great Osama Death Clichédown

May 6th, 2011 by

clichedown

There was this dude named Osama bin Laden who got capped the other day. I don’t know, maybe you heard about it; it was sort of a big deal. Everyone in The News is talking about it – writers, anchors, bloggers, and all your social media buddies. But despite the event’s big-dealie-ness, there’s only so many ways to reword the phrase “Bad Guy Got Capped.” And in order to provide footing for those trekking warily through the Inundated Mediascape, we’ve run the most common Osama Death related clichés through the Beast’s Patented Hacknometer (patent pending).

hacknometer

THE ERA EPITAPH

The death of bin Laden is typically treated like a function – a play in three convenient acts: Sept. 11, 2001 > Patriot Act America > Osama Gets Capped. Though there might be some relevance to this narrative, it dangerously shifts discourse away from the decades and decades of Cause and Effect that precipitated in our current State of Terror.

What the commentator is trying to say: The death of Osama bin Laden changes things.

What the commentator is actually saying: I want to take credit for summarily defining an issue so hopelessly convoluted and complex that no one could actually ever wrap their head all the way around it.

Example: “For many young adults living in Western New York, their understanding of the modern world is now bookended by the 9/11 attacks and this week’s killing of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden” – Mark Popiolkowski, The Buffalo News

Hacknometer reading: “Too Easy”

THE “9/11 AFFECTED ME PERSONALLY” SPIEL

We were all there. Some planes hit buildings and you got to watch TV all day instead of working or schooling or beating your wife. You were sad or confused or angry. We were all there. And yeah, if you lost a family member on 9/11, that’s one thing, but for everyone else, it was the same generic sadness and confusion and anger. So now that a handful of voices are dredging their memory to meet their Word Counts, let’s just change the channel.

What the commentator is trying to say: I have something edifying to say about this.

What the commentator is actually saying: I don’t have anything edifying to say about this.

Example: “Over nine and a half years later and a continent away, [my son] raced downstairs from his bedroom to watch Obama’s speech ‘so psyched’ that he couldn’t go to sleep until we processed the implications of the killing of a man who defined our family’s life in ways he still cannot begin to imagine. A few tears dripped from my eyes as I recalled the sadness that enveloped the lives of all New Yorkers in the days and weeks after the attacks.” – Mark LeVine, Al Jazeera

Hacknometer reading: “Boring!”

THE TRUTHER TURN

Obama, what the fuck were you thinking dumping bin Laden’s body in the ocean and refusing to release pictures? After the National Socialists destroyed all the evidence of Hitler’s death, there were decades and decades of crackpot theories arguing that the dictator had simply sailed off to South America to… relax quietly and not accomplish anything? Obviously, you’re going to have doubters suggesting that all this Capping business is a rouse; that bin Laden is still caving it up somewhere in south-central Asia.

Eh, whatever. Obviously, the President isn’t about to go running his mouth about offing the nation’s Most Wanted Man unless he was absolutely confident that we wouldn’t be hearing from the goon ever again. You know? Get some sleep.

What the commentator is trying to say: I’m the only sane one!

What the commentator is actually saying: I’m batshit fucking insane!

Example: “Did Obama really kill Osama bin Laden? No (90%, 22,052 votes), Yes (10%, 2,479 votes)” – Poll on Alex Jones’ Infowars.com

Hacknometer reading: “Get Some Sleep.”

THE PACIFIST CITATION

After hearing that Terrorist Number One had been killed, my first inclination was to take shots with my American Homies. That’s not saying much, considering that I’d poured the shots before I even heard the news. But yeah, with news of Osama’s death came a brief, brief era of celebration for many. And this celebration, as usual, came with a backlash of castigation. You had a couple of people who got all “we shouldn’t revel in the death of an enemy” and forgot to remember our Greatest American Prerogative: any excuse to party is still an excuse to party.

What the commentator is trying to say: I’m better than you.

What the commentator is actually saying: I want to look like I’m better than you.

Example: “‘Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.’ – MLK jr” – Your most PC friend’s status on Facebook

Hacknometer reading: Someone needs to get laid, know’m’sayin’, Dawg?”

THE MISC. NICHE

A Monday morning editorial meeting at one of the Big Outlets:

Managing Editor: Alright, this Osama thing is a big deal. How do we turn one story into ten?

Reporter 1: Perspective from 9/11 Families?

Reporter 2: Perspective from bin Laden’s Family?

Reporter 3: How are kids reacting?

Reporter 4: How are grandparents reacting?

Reporter 5: What does this mean for Obama’s poll numbers?

Reporter 6: What does this mean for the world of economics?

Reporter 7: What does this mean for the world of sports?

Reporter 8: What does this mean for the world of religion?

Reporter 9: Will Osama go to heaven?

Reporter 10: Will any of us go to heaven?

All: Whoaaaaaaaaa!

Managing Editor: …Gentlemen. We’ve got a long week ahead of us.

What the commentator is trying to say: I bet you never thought about it like that.

What the commentator is actually saying: …for good reason.

Example: Type “bin laden death” into Google and just skip ahead to page 10

Hacknometer reading: Journalism!
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3 Comments

Interview: Doug Benson

April 28th, 2011 by

Doug Benson

You probably know Doug Benson from his film Super High Me, a documentary in the vein of Super Size Me, in which the California-based comedian constantly smoked pot for 30 days while measuring the toll it was taking on his body (spoiler alert: it was negligible). He’s also been in a ton of other stuff, too, but when we found out he was coming to Buffalo for to perform, we emailed him some questions. Then he emailed us some answers.

First of all, I hope you’re enjoying the Holidays. Did you do anything special to commemorate the 20th this year, or was it just pizza delivery and a CSI marathon like the rest of the country?

I’m more of an L & O marathon kind of guy. But I actually recorded a new album that night, which will be out later this year.

You’ve carved out a niche as The Weed Comedian after being named Stoner of the Year by High Times Magazine and subjecting yourself to a grueling pot regiment in the documentary Super High Me. When was the last time you paid to smoke?

I buy it sometimes, because I like to give back to the system.

New Jersey recently authorized a handful of medical marijuana dispensaries and several other states have crept closer to decriminalization. As a Card-holding Californian, what advice would you give to Mom and Pop hustlers trying to survive in the face of legalization?

Move to Cali!

Given the amount of time I spend skulking IMDb, I’m downright ashamed with myself whenever I try to play along with the Leonard Maltin Game at home. The actual contestants are typically pretty solid, though. Are there any guests you’re really looking forward to on upcoming Doug Loves Movies podcasts?

Thanks to Twitter I was able to convince Johnathan Lipnicky from JERRY MAGUIRE to be on soon. I think it will be fun to talk to him now that he’s grown up and probably has some perspective on making that movie. Not to mention THE LITTLE VAMPIRE!

I’d like readers to get to know your softer side. When was the last time you cried?

The series finale of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. Great show, great characters, I was balling at the end. But it’s ok because the show is about football, right?

Did you have a favorite stuffed animal when you were little? And how did you feel when you had to part ways with your special buddy? Be honest.

I had a talking Bugs Bunny doll that had dirty fur and the string you pull to make it talk was busted, but every time my Mom threw it away, I’d dig it out of the trash. Finally let it go when I hit 30.

If you had to say whether you like hecklers or whether you dislike hecklers, would you say that you like hecklers? Or would you say that you dislike hecklers?

I think it’s a trick question, but I’m gonna go with dislike. Being enthusiastic and yelling something is ok, but just trying to throw the comic off or disrupt the show – not cool. If you wanna do that, just stay home and yell at your tv.

So yeah, so there you go. Doug is performing at Babeville in Buffalo on April 28 (and we’re pretty sure we get tickets for mentioning that – dope!). Dude is all over the place though, so check out the dates on his website, DougLovesMovies.com, and download his podcast because it’s free and you have no reason not to.

_________________________________

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Lindsey Buckingham Is So Alt!

April 18th, 2011 by

By Chuck Salter, BEAST Music Correspondent

Buckingham circa 2008

I just discovered Lindsey Buckingham, perhaps the most alt musician to hit the blogs since Toro y Moi. I wanted to name drop him here, so he can start trending real hard on Twitter. I can’t believe no one knows who this guy is yet! Not even Pitchfork.com!

He’s polite, slightly insane and a fantastic singer and guitar player who is handsome and well dressed with an alleged minor coke problem.

I downloaded his leaked album, Tusk, last night, and want to be the first one to review it. He sounds a lot like Animal Collective, the White Stripes and The Clash. I can definitely tell this guy listened to these guys while writing the album!

Check out Lindsey Buckingham’s hipster recording techniques, where he duck tapes a mic to the bathroom floor and sings the vocals. I really like his American Apparel shirt. The video is even faded and worn, a total trademark of a hipster. He’s too cool to look like it’s 2011!

But anyway, Buckingham is OD crazy. Tusk is an animal, a complete ego-tripping fuck fest with banjos, moaning and fuzz guitar. I think the word “Tusk” is symbolism for “penis.” Pretty sure his song “Tusk” is about fucking. Check it out (Lindsey’s the one with the aviators on). He’s already so post-hipster that he doesn’t get caught being filmed with Ray Bans on. The song is already going viral, with over 90,000 hits already.

I could def. see him making Gorilla Vs. Bear, but not Rolling Stone. That would be framing his image as too mainstream. Maybe he’ll collaborate with Ryan Adams and drop an MP3 firebomb on the Internet.

So I bit Torrent downloaded Tusk, and I was blown away by it’s sound. Dry. Abrasive. Melodic. Crazy. I mean, this could easily sound like it came out in 1979. I really like the female back-up singer he has on there. She’s ok, but Lindsey is just so good!

I noticed the album was released through Warner Bros., which is really strange for a major label to be releasing such an Indie act. I mean, I’ll look over the fact that he’s not on a real indie label cause his songs are so artistic!!!!!!!!

Anyway, what are your first impressions of Lindsey Buckingham? Do you think he’ll come out with a #ChillWave album next? How alt would that be?!
_____________________
Chuck Salter writes for The DEBASER, a hyper local bitch-smacking machine about Connecticut politics. When he’s not unemployed, he works as a reporter or as a stock boy at your local Harry & David.

This article originally appeared in The Debaser.

7 Comments

Dating Advice: Facebook Love & Slammin’ It at G-Dub

April 15th, 2011 by

By Sic McLovelorn, BEAST Relationship Expert

Dating Advice

I was recently “friended” by a stranger on Facebook. She is listed as single, lives in the same city as me, and looks cute, but our only mutual friend is a local DJ. I kind of want to get to know her better and maybe ask her out, but I don’t know if the norms of Facebook allow that. Should I send her a message? – Entirely Too Lonely in Buffalo

Oh, I don’t know, Entirely. Goddamn Facebook. It’s nice that everybody’s Grandma gets to see pictures of them getting sloshed at the club in between rows of tan cleavage, but on the downside you have to deal with postmodern dilemmas like this one. But you know what? I’ve heard of strangers linking up on the site before. It’s definitely not normal, don’t get me wrong, but if she’s Cold-Friending you like that, she’s probably at least half as crazy as you are.

So here’s what I’d recommend: Get drunk. Good and Drunk. Then, just to make sure all your bases are covered, put forty-five minutes into a rambling and semi-incoherent message to your most recent ex. Tell her all the reasons you’ve suddenly realized it didn’t work out between the two of you, but that you’re working on yourself, and that it would be “cool” to get together again sometime. Throw in some subtle innuendo towards the end that’s not really as “subtle” as you drunkenly think it is.

Next, start up a message to your Cold Call Companion. Tell her that you’re not sure if you’ve met but that she seems “cool” and that it would be “cool” to go check out this one DJ who’s not exactly like (but IS exactly like) the DJ you both Like. And don’t stop there. Specifically reference her most provocative tagged photo in a “subtle” way, and be sure to add a “semi-colon-end parenthesis” to really drive the point home. Pause for a moment as the imminent dread begins to set in but hit “Send” before your conscience can chime in. Then delete your outbox for posterity and go to bed; you’re drunk!

I’m in DC from out of town right now, slamming this girl at GW, but I have nothing to do while she’s in class. – Extracurricular in the Capital

First of all, good work, Extra – not so much on the collegiate hook-up, but on your use of the term “slamming” in this context. I’m about to steal that and get a lot cooler. But, like, what do you have in mind? Are you looking for “something” or “someone” to do? You need to be more specific here, folks.

I’m going to assume you’re referring to the latter and recommend that your first priority be making sure you know this girl’s schedule a couple days – or at least hours – out. Then hop onto your Contacts list or Facebook page and see if you know any other girls in town with whom you’ve had unresolved frottage in the past. Be all like, “Sup yo im in dc right now wat u up to the next few days/hours.” Then hop onto OkCupid and see if you can work something out there, too. You’re in a 500K+ population city after all, and although the site is borderline useless for short-notice encounters in my own 250K-zone, you might have some last-minute luck in the nation’s capital. Maybe even head over to Ashley Madison, why not – it costs a little money to get started, and requires a lot more legwork before it pans out, but I’d be so proud of you if you ended up “slamming” some senator’s wife while your Co-Ed was in ENG101.

Either way, devote the first few class-breaks to making some headway, and be sure to delete the browser cache anytime your Student Friend texts you on her way back towards the dorms. Hopefully you’ll have a rendezvous lined up for the next time she heads over to the Student Union.

So there you go. If I misread this and you really were just looking for “something” to do, then get Good and Drunk and follow all the steps above. When your Academic Fuck Buddy gets home and you’re all sloshed and you’ve actually just settled for Youporn in the waning afternoon, just be all like, “Baby… no, I’m not drunk… no, fuuuuck you.” Then break something and leave.

For terrible dating advice, send questions to sicmclovelorn@gmail.com

__________________________

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Why Dr. Dre’s Long Awaited "Detox" Album Will Be the Flop of the Decade

April 8th, 2011 by

By Chuck Salter, BEAST Music Correspondent

Dr. Dre’s mega-hyped final solo album, “Detox,” is going to piss off a lot of people, record executives and hip-hop illiterati not being one of them. Trust me, my opinion matters here, because I’ve been following the rumors and news of this album since Dre started talking about it over ten years ago. I also spent a good five years of my life exclusively listening to Dr. Dre and G-Funk music and talking shit on west coast rap message boards.

In middle school, I used to come home and blast West Coast gangsta rap like the world was ending. I didn’t even know what weed was then, but it was the album that brought the hood straight into the living rooms of White America. The Chronic was everything grown ups wanted to shelter their kids from: Violence, black people, weed, gangsters, LA riots, and the television news, all wrapped up and delivered with a fat pot leaf on the CD.

When Dr. Dre 2001 came out in 1999, I don’t think there was an album at the time that I ever anticipated as much. This was before albums used to “leak” onto the Internet. It was everything I could expect and more: forward sounding, cleaner, still West coast but totally reinventing all of what hip-hop sounded like to me. I actually had my CD taken away from me in middle school because it too had a pot leaf on it and I brought it everywhere.

Then Dre began name dropping Detox, the final album to his solo trilogy. The one album to end all albums. Originally Dre said he was recording it specifically in 5.1 surround sound, with slated releases that fell through every year last decade. Nothing.

Now it seems to be that we have an April 19 drop date — a full day for pot smokers across the world to prepare for their Holy Day on 4/20. Not only do I smoke a lot of weed now, I can fully appreciate the lyrics way more than when I was a pre-pubescent kid who rocked a Kobe Bryant jersey and bragged to my friends that I had “been to Cali.”

But I’m here to tell you Detox is going to be a flop. I hope I am wrong, because I have thought about this — a lot, to the point of near insanity. I repeat: Dr. Dre’s infamous Detox album will be a FLIPPITY FLOP. And I say this without using record numbers to gauge the quality of an album. Dre will prolly sell a shit ton. The album is just going to be disappointing, period.

My worst fears were confirmed when I heard “Kush,” a so-so song with Akon, someone who is a horrible rapper. Then I saw “I Need a Doctor,” along with its music video, an overly-bloated cinematic sequence where Dre is brought back from the dead. Not only is the song a complete rip-off of Eminem’s single “Love the Way You Lie,” but Dre just sounds WEIRD and the singles don’t sound revolutionary like “Still DRE” and “Forgot About Dre.” I can’t put my finger on it. I know he doesn’t write his own raps and uses ghost writers, but he just sounds forced and out of place with his flow.

But I listen to Dre because he is the best producer in maybe all of music. He brought in NWA, Snoop, Nate Dogg (RIP) and Eminem and the Game and stuck with 50 when he was still good, but these first two singles are wack as hell. Avid West coast lovers are gonna hate the shit out of Detox. People who love Lil Wayne are gonna love it, and that freaks me out.

I mean, the way it seems now, the album is going to come with that neutral-sounding, steril club banger feel with lots of white bitches on hooks. And even though I am cool with this album not being strictly West coast, I don’t want it to be filled with Jay-Z/Beyonce duets and songs that aren’t any different from all the other garbage that is littering the radio today. But that’s what’s going to happen. Dre’s bringing in a whole colony of rappers and co-producing it. Hopefully Scott Storch laid down a lot of shit for it, cause he wrote a lot of songs on 2001.

I just came across this song that might make the album. Definitely better than the first two singles. Check it here.

Maybe I’m way too baked, but between Dre’s shitty cyborg commercials where he’s from the future and the absolute banality of his first two songs, I say Detox is a total fail.

______________________________________

Chuck Salter writes for The DEBASER, a hyper local bitch-smacking machine about Connecticut politics. When he’s not unemployed, he works as a reporter or as a stock boy at your local Harry & David.


3 Comments

Waxy BEAST Review – "The King of Limbs"

April 6th, 2011 by

RADIOHEAD – The King of Limbs

waxy3-5

Like, twenty years ago there was this band called On A Friday from Abingdon, England that mostly tried to sound like the Pixies, but added the occasional ska romp or indie ballad, and even infused electronics and drum machines into their sound.

In the early 90s, Britpop was getting big, so EMI made them change their name to Radiohead, signed them, and told them to “just do that.” They released Pablo Honey and The Bends, which, despite being Great Fucking Albums, were substantially limiting for such a stylistically expansive group. Read More

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Waxy Beast Reviews – Wiz Khalifa

April 3rd, 2011 by

WIZ KHALIFA – Rolling Papers

waxy4-5

Ever since Lil’ Wayne released Tha Carter III in 2008, virtually every rapper to see the light of day has struggled to copy his sped-up, southern-drawl-flow and Purple Drank lifestyle. They pay thousands for designer beats and hot-guest verses, and basically beg to get brought up on drug and gun charges to sell ringtones. The thing they all seem to miss is that Wayne is an exception, not a genre. He’s an eccentric genius who can’t help but make you squirm, and when you try to turn his innovations into industry trends, you just water them down. Read More

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