As far as I'm concerned, the most insightful post, by far, is Mark Cuban's. For those of you who don't know, Mark owns the Dallas Mavericks, the Dallas NBA franchise. Amusingly, his team is constructed with the almost exact opposite philosophy to the one that the Detroit Pistons management, specifically Joe Dumars, used in building their team concept.
This review is interesting to me, kudos to FoxNews for being unbiased enough to give the film a good review despite all the partisan rhetoric that they are normally accused of spreading. For the last few weeks, but especially in the last few days, I have heard a litany of people either praising or trashing Michael Moore. They have had very strong opinions, one person even called him, in a room full of people at a party, a "piece of shit." Others have said things like, "I'm proud of him for standing up to the administration." The interesting thing about these people, and the difference between them and Fox, is that Roger Friedman actually saw the film before having an opinion about it. Everyone else seems to have purchased a "Jump to Conclusions" mat.
I have not seen the film. I may go see it in the theater, I will probably at least make an attempt to go see it. For all I know, I might walk out not so happy with Moore. However, one thing you will not read on bump.net tonight or any night until I see the film will be a review of a movie based on a guess.To me, the troubling thing about this is that it is not an isolated incident in a sea of healthy politics. Things have gotten downright vitriolic in political discourse in this country right now. People from both the left and the right seem hellbent on winning this year, and, at times, they seem like they wish to do it at all costs. The victim of this type of attitude is debate. Disagreement and discussion are healthy, they allow people to see both sides of an issue, to rethink their position and to come to a stronger, more informed position. I just don't see this today. It may be that the people I am surrounded by happen to be a particular type of person, with their minds already made up about November, but I doubt it. I see the same sorts of things, the kind of burnt turf mentality, on the various Internet discussion forums that I read regularly.
The times in my life when I have had this "win at all costs" approach to an argument or issue, I may have won the argument more times than not. In every single one of these cases, without exception, I have paid the price for that approach. I could enumerate these mistakes here, but there is no point in exposing a litany of personal failures to make my point. We need to get to a healthier discourse. I would be interested in hearing others opinions about this, be they from the left, right, or moderates like myself.
It's a hip hop record. No instrumental goodness, no punk goodness, straight up, almost minimalistic, hip hop. The beats are mostly from the same school as Hello Nasty, the chop it up into loops and loop that sh*t up over and over, then throw some scratches on top of that, school. In some ways, after listening to the record the first time, I was thinking that I couldn't wait for the inevitable remixes to start dropping. Structurally, the vocal content would leave a remixer with a lot to work with. Overall, they didn't try to do too much with the beats, and it works just fine from where I stand. For those of you looking for the fourth major beat re-invention of the Beastie Boys, this is not that record. It is in some ways a couplet to Hello Nasty the way that Ill Communication was a couplet to Check Your Head.
As far as lyrics and rhyming goes, this record is different, very different, from what came before in a few ways. Although not as pervasive as I had feared, politics have crept into the lyrical content, and it gets especially bad in a couple of instances. I mean, to state the obvious, it is your record, and if that is what you want to talk about, be my guest. I, however, cringed a bit the first time I heard "It Takes Time to Build." There are some of the cultural references that we have come to rely on the Beastie Boys to provide, but the number is nowhere near what I had come to expect in the past. Stylistically, as hinted at by the first single, they branch out a bit more than they did on Hello Nasty. For instance, "Crawlspace" has Adrock laying down some different stuff. This I enjoyed quite a bit. One track that really stood out was "Rhyme the Rhyme Well" from both a beats and vocal standpoint.
Overall, I like this record quite a bit. I get the feeling, as with most of the Beasties work, that after another twenty-five listens, I will very attached to this record. It seems more subtle and minimalistic in some ways than the rest of their body of work, and while this might not bowl you over in the first couple of listens, it will undoubtedly insidiously creep into your consciousness and win you over.
If you are a fan of Major League Baseball, you really owe it to yourself to read Moneyball. I can't recommend it highly enough. It is the second best book I have read this year, with only a Science Fiction novel, Cory Doctorow's well crafted Eastern Standard Tribe, beating it out to date. If you aren't a fan of sports, you will still enjoy Moneyball. I'm not certain that you will take quite as much away from the book in that case, but I still firmly believe that you will find it enjoyable.
I sponsored the meeting because, in my eyes, I owe ACFUG quite a bit from a career perspective. I have made almost every single important career contact from the last six years of my life at or through ACFUG. My last three jobs have been either in part or completely as a result of my involvement in the organization.
- People who purchase SUV's should first be sure that they are actually capable of driving an SUV
- The left lane is for faster traffic, it is the right lane that is for slower traffic.
- People who work in coffee shops are snarky sometimes.
- I like women, a lot.