Spam Attacks!

Posted in Spam, wonderful spam on February 20th, 2007 by bill
It never ceases to amaze me what those resourceful spammers will come up with. This week, I got one that takes what seems to me like a wholly new approach to sales: outright hostility to the potential customer. It was subject lined "You're stupid man. buy viagraw," and inside it contained this helpful advice:
You're stupid man. buy viagra. maybe it will help you. oh, no. nothing helps you.
Now if I needed "viagraw" — and really, honestly, I definitely don't — would I buy it from this asshole? I don't think so. Then again, he did get my attention, which was probably the idea. Maybe this approach could work for other products, like, say, beer: You've never found anything you're good at, and you've failed at everything you've ever tried. You're unemployed, uneducated, and unattractive. Miller Genuine Draft won't solve any of those things. But it will help you forget them! Or cars: The new Honda Accord is such a wonderful automobile, you don't deserve it, you worthless piece of human filth. Even if you showed up at the dealership with a wheelbarrow full of money, we wouldn't sell you one. Well, maybe we would. It's worth a try. Maybe even the movies: You're nowhere near bright enough to understand the Oscar(r)-nominated film Babel. All the same, why not buy a ticket, then go sit in the theater and smoke crack or whatever it is you do? Something might seep in by accident. Probably not, but what do you have to lose? (Alright, alright, I know...but it was a good premise, wasn't it? Maybe you can do better.)

The Envelope, Please

Posted in Dancing about architecture on February 8th, 2007 by bill
1187__the_roots_l.jpg After deliberating for thirty-nine days, as required by law, I am ready to name my album of the year for 2006. And the Philly goes to...wait for it...yes, the winner is Game Theory by the Roots. This decision was influenced only partly by the fact that ?uestlove, Black Thought, et. al. put on a mind-blowing performance at the Fillmore Auditorium last night, a performance that I was privileged to witness thanks to the thoughtfulness and generosity of the girl with the lead foot. Truly, if there's a better band on the planet right now, I'd like to know their name. Although the Roots generally get filed under "hip-hop," there was nary a turntable in sight; instead, we got a full band including a four-man horn section anchored by the formidable Tuba Gooding Jr., who did things with his enormous instrument that really ought to be impossible. They not only played superb arrangements of their own material, they also paid homage to James Brown with powerful renditions of "Get on the Good Foot" and "Funky Drummer"; stripped down to guitar, drums, and tuba for a 10-minute-plus, multi-movement version of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War"; and covered both "Jungle Boogie" and "Roxanne," the latter with ?uestlove on falsetto vocals. If the Roots come to your town, by all means do whatever you have to to be there. Anyway, back to Game Theory. After the spotty Phrenology and the more satisfying The Tipping Point, the Roots have achieved some sort of pinnacle with this latest release. It's hard, really, to even name highlights; the album is crammed full with one great song after another, running the gamut from swaggering to introspective, from accessible to experimental, from old-school to futuristic. It must be heard to be believed. Who said nothing good ever came out of Philadelphia? Actually, it was me, but apparently I was wrong.