Wednesday, March 30, 2005


(by Oliver)

sure to be in the next Bond film

1. More proof that the internet is awesome. The directory isn't 100% complete but anywhere you can look up production credits for, say, All City's Metropolis Gold or over 100 Just Blaze songs - that's not bad.

2. This might be old but just in time for the first day of baseball: Boston Red Sox/Mastercard Parody.

3. So RadioShark is like...Tivo for radio? Ok, I'm with that.

4. However, the iBeam is just plain silly.

5. Apparently, I went to the wrong state school.

6. If Suge didn't have money problems before, he does now.

7. Why Terri and not Jerry? God works in mysterious ways. (Speaking of which - I'm normally down with Jesse, but seriously, what is he doing in Florida?


(by Oliver)

say my name, say my name

Far be it from me to bring to light an embarassing typo - like I said, I blew a few choice copy editing opportunities(1) on the book - but this is so glaring, it bears a shoulder tap.

A Pitchfork review of the "Triumph" Remix:
    Joe Budden, Rawkan, Oschino,
    Sparks, and Peedi Crack: "Triumph Remix"
    genre: hip-hop

    On 1997's Wu-Tang Forever, "Triumph" was our last chance to hear the fully assembled Wu-Tang Clan, all nine members plus Cappadonna, absolutely wrecking an eerie, swirling RZA banger. Every last Wu member brought ridiculous fire to "Triumph"; the track marks the last moment when it seemed like the Clan ran hip-hop before it splintered into a million underwhelming solo projects and petty feuds.

    Roc-A-Fella Records was the undisputable number-one brand in rap a couple of years ago. But now that Jay's left the studio for the front office and Damon Dash has announced vague plans to start his own label called Roc-4-Life, many of the label's supporting players face uncertain futures. So when a motley collection of former Roc D-teamers assemble to reassure us that they still run shit, it's impossible not to catch flashbacks of Wu-Tang's sad dissolution. Except that none of these guys have anything like the knife-edge gravity that the Wu had in 1997. Joe Budden, two years removed from his one hit, warns us: "Anybody let the milli spray by us/ Could get a ache in your heart like Billy Ray Cyrus". Rawkan, who I've never even heard of, says something about slashing the Vatican. Oschino (or Sparks?) lets us know that he's "trying to manage with Serena and Venus". The whole exercise remains sad and pointless until the end of the track when Peedi Crack's anarchic Bugs Bunny flow rolls through and saves the day. If Dash ever manages to get Roc-4-Life off the ground, he needs to build it around this guy. [Tom Breihan]
I don't have a real opinion about Pitchfork personally - I know some colleagues who like 'em, some who don't. Nor is this to pick on Mr. Breihan. From all accounts, dude is supposed to know his stuff. Apparently, there were copies of the song sent out with "Rawkan" printed as a typo...this is referring to, of course, Raekwon, who you'd presume that anyone who knows a single thing about the Wu is aware of.

Maybe Breihan is feigning ignorance as a way to draw attention to the typo though that would beg the question of 1) why is that even relevant to the review and 2) his grasp of sarcasm/satire needs some tightening since, if it's supposed to be a joke, no one's getting it.

In Breihan's defense, Immobilarity sort of made me want to forgot Rae too.

Speaking of questionable reviews...and again, I feel bad for picking on who I can only presume to be a young writer, but this college paper review of Jay-Z would be one of my first examples of "how NOT to write music criticism". This actually reads like a parody of what a bad culture writing looks like - something you might see in The Onion. Alas, I don't think this is a joke.

Not intentionally any how.

1. The most glaring is that in the entry for Brand Nubian's One For All, I missed that the writer misidentified "Concerto In X Minor" as a Grand Puba song. It is, of course, DMX rhyming on it.

I also put in an album cover image of BDP's Edutainment and labeled it as By All Means Necessary. Who must learn?
(credit: Soul Strut)


(by Junichi)

Get in my belly!

Some mother of five put her name up for bid on eBay.

Golden Palace Casino won the auction with the high bid of $15,199.

Now, the woman formerly known as Terri Iligan is contractually obligated to legally change her name to:

Let's all brainstorm the fun conversations that will ensue.

Golden Palace, of course, is famous for winning these bizarre eBay auctions. They recently won a tattoo on a woman's cleavage, a stripper's implant, the right to sponsor a woman's birth, and the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich, which I mentioned here.

I'm predicting that branded pudenda and sponsored funerals are right around the corner.

Smart marketing, for sure. After all, here I am plugging the name of their site for free.

Too bad their gambling site is a ripoff. Plus, I hear goes down all the time.

Monday, March 28, 2005


(by Oliver)

Quick review for the new Rough Guide to Boogaloo ran on NPR's Morning Edition today.

More to the point, for those not checking Soul-Sides.Com, I have a three-part series of podcasts on boogaloo right now.



(by Junichi)

New Hallmark card?
  • It's getting hot in herre, so take off, all you Saudis! The NY Times confirms that the FBI arranged chartered flights for dozens of Saudi nationals, including relatives of Osama bin Laden, shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Can we start talking impeachment now? Michael Moore has been right all this time.

  • Try explaining the logic of this one: in a major policy shift, the Bush Administration has decided to reward Pakistan for its help in our "war on terrorism" by agreeing to sell them two dozen F-16 warplanes, sales of which were previously banned by Bush's father. And gee, by pure coincidence, Lockheed Martin Corp. recently announced that it needs new orders for their F-16 jets or it will have to close down its factory.

  • Would you quit music forever if 500 people puked during or right after your band's concert? The Charlatans UK performed at Aberdeen's Music Hall in the UK to a crowd of about 1,500 people. According to the Guardian, "germs from the vomit on the hall steps were carried into the venue in the rush of gig-goers and redistributed by the Music Hall's air-conditioning system." This led to a third of concertgoers contracting Winter Vomiting Disease and immediately re-creating the Barf-A-Rama scene from the movie Stand By Me.

  • Speaking of puking, here's some news from the BK Lounge. If you didn't get your share of eggs for Easter, Burger King debuted its Enormous Omelet Sandwich, which packs in enough eggs, meat and processed cheese to deliver 730 calories and 47 grams of fat, which is 30 calories and 5 grams more than a Whopper. So much for the healthy trend in fast food restaurants. Remember when Humpty Hump once said:

  • Look at me -- I'm skinny.
    It never stopped me from gettin' busy.
    I'm a freak. I like the girls with the boom.
    I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom.

    One wonders whether Humpty would still be skinny after ingesting a few of these enormous breakfast entrees. Yeah, Humpty, I called ya fat.

  • More Easter news: I hate you Easter Bunny! I said I wanted chocolate eggs and not those nasty f?@#ing Peeps s%#t!

  • Not a joke: Order this handy and innovative device from that blocks out Fox News from your cable.

  • Does a Mexican refer to an Asian person as a gabacho? Click here to find out one perspective.

Sunday, March 27, 2005


(by Oliver)

short but funky

1) A change is gonna come (to Pop Life). Oh, yes it is.

2) Not like the world needs another opinion about the Terri Schiavo case but as it now seems to be winding down, I find myself breathing a long sigh of relief. There are so many things that can be said about the case and the various legal and ethical issues it raises. I just have two points.

First, I'm hoping the fact that every judge in this case has ruled against the Schindlers will finally encourage them to shut their gaping, sanctamonious mouths. As a new parent, I can appreciate the feeling of desperation they have in wanting to save their daughter but as a citizen, I'm offended by their relentless, selfish demands on a government that needs to be spending its time addressing the needs of equally (if not more so) desparate people out there. Believe me - they couldn't have done this without the cooperation of all the bandwagon-jumping opportunists in both Florida and U.S. Congress - the latter of whom committed a gross violation of the concept of checks and balances by even getting involved in this circus to begin with. But I could have thrown a shoe at the TV when I heard Papa Schindler claiming that his daughter was a victim of "judicial homicide" and then pleading for either Gov. or Pres. Bush to intervene.

Mind you - I think there are extraordinary times when executive power can and should be wielded for the greater good of an individual but usually, those cases involve someone who's been the victim of a failure of due process elsewhere (i.e. an innocent man on death row). Terri Schiavo doesn't remotely fall into this category - in fact, she's probably been the benefit of more due process than any other individual in recent American history. This leads to my second point:

The one positive development that I've seen from this is that, by and large, it confirms that America really does run by rule of law and that, despite all too frequent missteps and corruption, in this case, everything worked as it should. Every branch of government - state AND federal - weighed in on this and ultimately, despite the interference of Congress and the President, this case was still ultimately decided on the local/state level and by the judiciary, who I trust far more than the other two branches. I'm sure the Schindlers don't feel this way, but the system (seemingly) worked and every extra step added (i.e. the billion appeals filed) only confirmed that due process was in play. For once.

Of course, I'm not legal expert - perhaps Junichi can weigh in just to confirm my observations. Regardless though, the only thing that the Schindlers have said that I heartfully agree with is that all the protestors gathered around Terri's hospice should go home and hug their kids. I'm doing that right now, in fact.

3) Hua passed along this interview with New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane which has to be one of the funniest pieces on the art of writing I've read in a long time.

Of the various tidbits of wisdom that Lane imparts, these are amongst the finest:
    "The truth is, that if you're working on a piece at three in the morning, you're not Keats; you're just late."

    "I'm not a creative writer. I don't write poetry or novels or drama but criticism, which is the eunuch of the family. I watch other people doing it and talk about what they're doing in a squeaky, high voice."

    "I never meet my subject matter. It's one of the advantages of living in Britain, a curious arrangement that has worked very well. Sometimes I go over to The New Yorker to get my fix, and wander in and people say, 'Thank God you're here', and ask me to fix the water-cooler."

    "When I went to Hollywood for an Oscars soirée I was the only hack, so I presumed it was going to be like The Wicker Man, that I'd be taken out into the garden and set on fire. Of course, the actors were all exquisitely polite. And most of them came up to my navel, so you end up putting your drink on their heads. I felt like Gulliver. They're very charming, the implication being, 'Please don't presume that what you said matters to us'."
4) I ran into writer/scholar Josh Clover at one of Jeff Chang's gazillion book readings and he broke down his philosophy of the iPod Shuffle at the time. A few week later and I see that Josh had expounded on the issue in an essay for the Village Voice. Josh makes many provocative insights, but the one that stuck with me was this:
    "It doesn't tell you what song is playing or what's next or much else. That's the thing. As a result, each song fades out with a frisson - what'll be next?... You're hostage to what's coming, and the risk that it might suck... But the next song doesn't suck. Over and over it turns out to be a song I really like. This makes sense because I chose all the songs now being shuffled and, for the most part, I like the songs that I like. Each time one comes on, each time I dodge the bullet of Creed or Sage Francis - which of course could never actually strike me because they don't exist in my library - I think something like, "My taste rules."
Having recently "borrowed" S's Shuffle (as one of the benefits for actually working for Apple, S gets these goodies gratis and thus, I benefit too), I suddenly understood what Josh was saying here.

If you're truly going for the "shuffle experience" you could just let the Stick pick through your entire music library and slice out a GB's worth. But like many, I created a custom Shuffle playlist of all my most listened-to songs and new arrivals that I haven't gotten sick of yet. And whilst listening to the Stick, indeed, I have often been pleasantly surprised by the sequencing.

Sample: Junior Mance: Tin Tin Deo
Alicia Keys: You Don't Know My Name
Mike Jones, Slim Thug, Paul Wall: Still Tippin'
Jeru: Come Clean
Rufus Wainwright: Greek Song
Eddie Kendricks: Date With the Rain (Extended 12" Remix)
Jesse Anderson: Let Me Back In
Isaac Hayes: Walk On By
Aretha Franklin: Day Dreaming
The Pixies: Here Comes Your Man

While I may not know what song is going to come on next, I'm almost always pleased by it since, as Josh noted, I tend to like the songs I like and having filled the Stick with those kind of songs, I can reconfirm that, yes indeed, I have some great f***ing taste in music.

Or to put it another way, the Shuffle is one way to spend $100 to blow smoke up your own ass.

The only beef I have with the Shuffle is that once you load songs onto it, you must keep a mirror of that playlist on your computer. If you delete those songs from your hard drive, the next time you synch with the Stick, it will assume you also want to delete the same songs from the Shuffle. I find this remarkably annoying since it means I have an extra GB's worth of memory being taken up redundantly on my computer.

I presume Apple put this feature in as some kind of anti-piracy device though, for the life of me, I can't understand why they didn't program the Stick like they do the normal iPod (where you can copy soundfiles to - but not from - the iPod). I made the mistake of complaining about this to the snippy folks who frequent the support discussion board and they snarkily suggested I go buy a different MP3 player. They're altogether another set of sanctimonious *****s who need to STFU too.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


(by Junichi)

Mo Cuishle

I remain impressed that most critics and my small circle of friends still stay mum about the surprise ending in Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby so as not to ruin it for those who haven't yet seen the film.

Sadly, there are still millions of people who haven't seen the film, judging by the fact that it has yet to break the $100 million mark while Hitch passed that amount in its second week of release.

But now that Million Dollar Baby won the Oscar for Best Picture and it's out of the theaters, can we finally talk about the big twist that happens two-thirds of the way into the film?

First of all, I can't believe that septuagenarian Clint Eastwood did full frontal nudity in his incestual sex scene with Hilary Swank, who is a third his age.

Second, did anybody else realize that Hilary Swank's character was a man? My jaw dropped to the floor when Clint ripped off Hilary's shorts in the boxing ring and said "I want to go down for the count."

Third, after the constant references to Hilary's character as "Mo Cuishle," I was really disappointed when Clint tells her/him that it's the Gaelic term for "more cushion," in reference to Hilary's voluptuous man-booty. I should've predicted this when he kept chanting, "Mo Cuishle for Mo Puishle!"

Fourth, I thought it was obvious that Bruce Willis' character had been dead the whole time.

As for the end of the movie, I thought it was a bit cliche when Hilary finally delivers the knockout punch in the championship round after flipping around her/his trucker hat. Isn't this just Over The Top and Teen Wolf 2 in a boxing ring?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


(by Oliver)

answer to the question: what happened to the atban clan?

Oliver Wang: Can you explain to me how the Black Eyed Peas went from a B-rate Pharcyde to a mega-group? Those dudes are everywhere right now.

Hua Hsu: multiculturalism, college

OW: wasn't it really just the strength of "Where Is the Love"?

HH: yeah but what I mean is, they're the kind of rap group that exists because college exists

OW: but why did it take until their 3rd LP to blow?

HH: because their first 2 LPs didn't have anything commercial enough. "Fallin up' was cool but it's not as dumb and populist as 'where is the love?' or 'let's get retarded.'

HH: they're like the fugees, only you dont have to think.


(by Junichi)

The movie that launched a thousand gubernatorial candidates

I'm in the midst of moving and I have no TiVo and limited Internet access (Yikes!) so you'll have to forgive me for my delay in posts.

For now, here's a random list I've created: Over the last few months, I've been collecting facts or thoughts that are difficult for me to accept as true. I've done this for no good reason except to come to terms with them. My list reached fifty today and I thought I'd post it:

  1. Three cast members from the movie Predator have run for governor ... and two of them have won.

  2. As of now, I will be unemployed in July.

  3. Most of this year's high school freshmen were born in 1990.

  4. Ol' Dirty Bastard is dead.

  5. The mainstream media will never refer to violent Christian fundamentalist wing nuts as terrorists.

  6. The "oldies" channel plays music that came out when I was growing up.

  7. I lived to see a president impeached for lying about fellatio.

  8. I only started drinking coffee two years ago and I have already given Starbucks over $1000 of my money.

  9. Flavor Flav and Brigitte Nielsen might actually be in love.

  10. Before, I was a short guy because I was an Asian American. Eventually, I will be a short guy for an Asian American.

  11. I have virtually no chance of being elected to a statewide or nationwide office.

  12. No man has ever consistently referred to me as his best friend.

  13. The Beatles are dying in the wrong order.

  14. My net worth is a negative number.

  15. In the year that Do The Right Thing was denied a Best Picture nomination, Driving Miss Daisy won the Oscar for Best Picture.

  16. Based on the average life expectancy of an American male, I have already lived one-third of my life.

  17. Jewel's "A Night Without Armor" is one of the best-selling poetry books of all time.

  18. Prisoners in New Hampshire manufacture the state license plate, which features the state motto 'Live Free or Die.'

  19. Jackie Chan's American films will never be one-tenth as good as his Asian films, which is proof that he needs a much better agent.

  20. The first black president will probably be a Republican.

  21. California might eventually become a red state.

  22. Most rock radio stations play Eminem and the Beastie Boys (but no black hip hop artists).

  23. Ben Affleck will always be "Academy Award-winner Ben Affleck."

  24. I can no longer name most of my elementary school teachers.

  25. In terms of annual salaries, Michael Jordan used to make (and perhaps still makes) more money from Nike than all of the Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined.

  26. Tiffany and Debbie Gibson -- two of the "clean" teen idols from the 80s -- have now both posed nude for Playboy.

  27. David Beckham bought his wife, Posh Spice, a $1.8 million diamond-encrusted vibrator.

  28. I share my birthday with at least nine million other people.

  29. The winner of the "Best New Artist" Grammy in 1961 was Bob Newhart.

  30. A 16-oz. cup of Starbucks coffee has the same amount of caffeine as 10 cans of Pepsi.

  31. I am no longer growing taller. But I keep gaining weight.

  32. Captain Kirk never literally said the phrase: "Beam me up, Scotty."

  33. My next major birthday milestone will be when I receive balloons that say "Over the Hill."

  34. My tax dollars currently contribute, directly, to the deaths of thousands of innocent people across the globe.

  35. In the U.S., one pound of potato chips costs about two hundred times more than a pound of potatoes.

  36. Mr. Rogers and Captain Kangaroo are both dead.

  37. No black woman had ever won a Best Actress Oscar before Halle Berry in 2002.

  38. George W. Bush is a two-term president.

  39. There are more people killed each year by donkeys than by airplane crashes.

  40. Speaking of disasters, the highest grossing movie of all-time is Titanic.

  41. The #3 highest-grossing movie is Shrek 2, which is within inches of surpassing #2 - Star Wars (the original), which only barely out-grossed the #5 movie of all-time, The Phantom Menace.

  42. Swans are the only birds with penises.

  43. Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America in 1983, probably wouldn't be a famous celebrity today if she hadn't done the lesbian-lite nude photo session that ended up in Penthouse.

  44. The word 'couture' is not pronounced the same way as 'kosher.'

  45. Montana and Washington still execute prisoners by hanging.

  46. Apparently, humans are the only mammals that normally have sex face-to-face.
  47. See comments below.

  48. Paris Hilton has a career ... with no signs of fading.

  49. Phil Collins is prominently featured in a Bone Thugs 'n Harmony video.

  50. The odds are high that I've never met you, Pop Life reader.

  51. The odds are decent that you're at least half-naked or half-baked.

Monday, March 21, 2005


(by Oliver)

banned in britain?

1. A school in the UK has apparently banned students from wearing racially improper hairstyles, i.e. white kiddies ain't allowed to rock corn rows and knotty dreads. Given - even I get a little annoyed at all the WASPafarians around the Bay Area rockin' locks but I wouldn't go as far as to pass school policy around it.

What would Kobena Mercer say (that's a little cultural studies jokes for the two of you who might have gotten it)?
(credit: Soul Strut Forums)

2. A Kansas State Univ. professor was convicted for murdering his ex-wife. Part of the evidence used to seal the deal were computer searches he had done for things such as "how to murder someone and not get caught" and "murder for hire."

3. Most intelligent, rational people realize that the Bush administration's push for "abstinence only" sex education is flat-out stupid public policy. Not only has recent research shown that the majority of people who take abstinence-only pledges end up breaking them - denying oneself only increses the desire, duh! - but even more telling is that rates of STDs are statistically equal for people having sex vs. those who've taken the pledge.

The reasons for this are obvious: abstinence-only programs are so hell-bent on pushing an anti-sex message, they fail to educate young people on the basics of sexual health and safety. Moreover, it seems that a large number of pledges try to scoot around their promise by claiming that while they won't have sexual intercourse, oral sex and anal sex are ok.

Pause with that for a moment.

So basically, instead of teaching young people how to have sex safely and responsibly, these programs are instead inadverntently encouraging the creation of a generation of sodomites.

Clearly, I came of age in the wrong decade.

4. Hua Hsu interviews MF Doom for The Wire Magazine. Who knew anyone liked Alpha Flight? Canadian super heroes, unite!

5. Common's video for "The Corner" is seriously excellent.

6. Our man Jeff "He Can't Stop" Chang has been on an award tour lately. Check out his interview on KQED's Forum where Dr. Cecil Brown called up to throw shade. (I'm really not trying to open this can of worms up again, but it's just damn interesting how certain Asian/Black tensions have been opened up of late through hip-hop. You almost miss the days when we were merely invisible).

And the SF Weekly just ran a long story about the history of Solesides and Quannum. It's always great to see long-form journalism still alive and well out there and writer Sam Chennault writes a compelling narrative even if he did get a song title wrong. (Sorry, but the whole "Send Them, Tom" thing is rather funny. Not like my book didn't have typos either).

7. Sasha Frere-Jones reports on the annual Mixtape Awards. Add this to my never-ending list of reasons why I'm sad I don't live in NYC.

8. tries to decipher Dr. Dre's hit-making secrets but as J-Smooth points out, for every hit Dre is behind, there's a whole platoon's worth of failed artists left over at Aftermath. Hello King T? Hello Rakim? That's just for starters.

9. Greg Tate's two bits on 50 Cent.

10. Last, but not least, Andrea Duncan-Mao has a blog. Not only is she a UC Berkeley alum (like both Junichi and I), a mover-shaker in the hip-hop industry and journalism biz, but she also possesses one of the cooler hyphenated surnames we've seen. She also was witness to one of my favorite Redman/Method Man stories ever but I can't really blow up her spot with it - she'll have to decide on her own to regale us with it (no pressure A).


(by Oliver)

that's not pork

1) As more astute people may have noted, Pop Life is now a two-some affair. Junichi was my guest blogger - now he's a permanent part of the site and the two of us might relaunch our mutual blogs into one single one, with a new name. I'm taking feedback on "Pop Your Pnuts."

Just be sure to read the byline, please? Us Asian folk might look the same but that doesn't mean we are the same. Hell, even my dad thought one of Junichi's posts was written by me. Ok, maybe we are all the same.

2) Though I've been newly deputized as a father, I won't be writing long, insipid posts about parenthood here. I'm actually daddy-blogging elsewhere at the moment, but I'll leave it to the more intrepid to figure out where. All I will say is this: my daughter is pretty goddamn cute. I know every new dad says that, but she is.

3) As some folks know, I teach a class in Asian American Film and Video at UC Berkeley. Last week, I had Curtis Choy (Fall of the I-Hotel, What's Wrong With Frank Chin? and Alice Wu (Saving Face) in class since both were in town for the 23rd S.F. Int'l Asian American Film Festival (aka the best damn social event of the year). It was a great contrast in filmmaking history and perspective. It's not that Choy and Wu are opposite, but they followed very different paths into filmmaking, in very different times. I won't wax too long about this except to say that I love that API filmmaking is expansive enough to include these two people (amongst hundreds more) in its scope. At some point, I need to write a book about it (I'm serious). In the meantime, go rent (if you can find it), Fall of the I-HoteL and go see Saving Face when it opens in June.

4) Speaking of the festival, I caught Fruit Chan's new movie, Dumplings. Patently disturbing dark comedy about a woman (Bai Ling - who was ridiculously hot) who makes special youth-giving dumplings made from...aborted fetuses. That's not a spoiler - this is made clear from jump. Believe me, this is not a film for the faint of heart - rather than allude to the secret ingredient, it gets a lot of screen time, in full graphic splendor. In the words of Chan, this film will offend EVERYONE.

Oddly, it still managed to make me hungry for dumplings though.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


(by Junichi)

R. Kelly suggests you not order the butter rolls.

Warning: explicit content below!

R. Kelly reminds me of the Bush Administration in that it's become impossible to satirize him because he is already standing at the extremes.

R. Kelly's lyrics have always bordered on laughably ludicrous -- from "You Remind Me of Something" to "Heaven, I Need A Hug." But his latest single, "In the Kitchen," is so utterly ridonkeykong that there is nothing left for 'Weird Al' Yankovic to parody.

Kel's slow jamz always blur the line between romantic and creepy, but this time, his song is an unabashed blended smoothie of buffoonery, sleaze, self-mockery, and stereotype with a boost of criminal behavior. The song seems to be an homage to Dave Chappelle's "Piss on You," which was itself a parody of R. Kelly's pedophilic urinating fetishes.

Did Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle ghost-write these lyrics?

I honestly can't decide whether the Pied Piper thinks he's being sexy/romantic or whether he's just trying to be funny.

You decide. Here's my attempt to transcribe the first verse, chorus, and bridge of his song:

Girl, you're in the kitchen
cookin' me a meal
Something makes me wanna come in there
and get a feel
Walk around in your T-shirt
with nothing else on
Struttin' past
switching that ass
while I’m on the phone

Cuttin' up tomatoes
Fruits and vegetables and potatoes
Girl you look like so sexy doin' your damn thing
that I want …
Sex in the kitchen
over by the stove
Put you on the counter
by the butter rolls
Hands on the table
on the tippy toes
We'll be making love like the restaurant was closed

This is what I'm ready to do:
Girl - I'm - ready - to - toss - yo - salad!
while making love girl, I'll be feasting.

When I first got the advanced copy, I had to play it over and over because I was laughing so hard. That has to be the most utterly insane bridge of any song in the history of musical lyrics.

Here is my layman's paraphrasing of R. Kelly's story:

While Mr. Robert Kelly is dining in a restaurant, he notices one of the female chefs who is preparing his meal. He ponders entering the kitchen to grope her although he has no intent on discontinuing his cellular phone conversation. He is unsure why he feels the need to fondle her body, although he suspects it is because she is following the kitchen staff's dress code, which involves wearing only a shirt and completely exposing the groin and buttocks.

After watching the bottomless chef make a mysterious dish that contains diced tomatoes, fruits, vegetables, and potatoes, Mr. Kelly concludes that he would like to have sexual intercourse with her on the kitchen counter, which is near the butter rolls. The manner of their love-making will be uninhibited, as if the restaurant was not currently occupied by other diners.

At last, he declares to the chef that he is ready to feast. But in a surprise twist, Mr. Kelly announces that he prefers to fill himself up -- not by eating her meal -- but by engaging in anilingus while simultaneously penetrating her, despite the physical impossibility of doing so.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


(by Junichi)

Eddy Zheng: To Be Deported for Not Being An American Citizen

I met Eddy Zheng in San Quentin Prison a few years ago. My friend Gary Chandler, along with other Poetry for the People alums, became creative writing instructors in the prison and invited me to attend and participate in a poetry reading. To date, it is the most memorable literary event I have ever attended, and not just because of its clever name: "The First Annual San Quentin Slam Slam."

When I first entered the prison's reading room, Eddy was draped in blue like all the other inmates. The prisoners -- most of whom were older people of color -- were friendly, craving to hear new poetry, and excited to meet new people. But Eddy stood out. From the minute I noticed him, he had a warm spirit, a ferocious passion, and an addictive generosity that filled the room. His poem blew me away. After the reading, we talked for quite a bit, until "curfew," at which point I was forced to leave. With each word he uttered, I questioned why Eddy wasn't on the "outside" or one of the "free people," both of which are terms I hadn't ever heard used to categorize attendees at a poetry reading.

Eddy was sentenced to seven years to life for a crime that he allegedly committed when he was a mere 16 years old. Today, at 35 years old, he has served the majority of his life in prison. But he has been steadfastly productive, working to rehabilitate himself in ways that would make any Republican congressman proud. During his sentence, he got a GED, an AA, studied religions, worked with at-risk youth, inspired inmates to pursue a creative writing program, joined a choir, and even wrote for the UC Berkeley Asian American publication Hardboiled. (You can read the prison's unconscionable reaction to his publication and his pursuit of an Ethnic Studies program within the jail here.)

Eddy eventually earned the support of the guards, his prison counselors, college professors, clergy, the prosecuting attorneys in his case (!!), and nearly everyone he met. (I'm a bit jealous that Eddy seems to have more friends than I do, and I don't have the excuse of being incarcerated.)

He was also recommended for parole a few years ago, but Governor Gray Davis rejected the recommendation, in keeping with his "tough on crime" stance.

Needless to say, Eddy, for me, has come to represent everything that is wrong with our country's criminal justice system.

Lately, I've reflected on how much Eddy and I have in common. We're both Asian American men in our 30s. We both had severe lapses of judgment when we were teenagers. Our parents are both immigrants. We both write poetry. We're deeply committed to learning about other cultures and pursuing lives dedicated to social justice.

There are two main differences between us, however: (1) Eddy was convicted for his juvenile indiscretions, while I was never caught. (2) Eddy's parents moved to America after he was born, whereas my parents moved to America before I was born.

Eddy's Parents

Those two differences -- Eddy's criminal conviction and his lack of American citizenship -- have led to two wildly different paths, with me teaching poetry at UC Berkeley and Eddy facing deportation after serving a 19-year sentence.

Thankfully, a few weeks ago, Governor Schwarzenegger finally approved Eddy for parole. He has now officially served and completed his sentence for all of his crimes.

But he hasn't been released from government custody and may never be a "free" man. Why? Because Eddy Zheng is not a US Citizen and, therefore, will likely be deported as required under xenophobic immigration laws passed in 1996.

Under current federal rules, any noncitizen -- even if he/she has a valid green card -- is subject to deportation if convicted of crimes as minor as DUI and shoplifting. These laws apply retroactively, meaning that Eddy had no way of knowing that he would face deportation at the time he pled guilty to the crimes. 9/11 has only made matters worse with even more hyper-draconian laws that conflate immigrants with terrorism.

Needless to say, Eddy is being punished twice. The first time, he served a 19-year-sentence for his juvenile crimes. But now, he's facing a second punishment -- this time, for simply not being an American citizen.

Eddy deserves to stay in this country. His family is here. His loved ones are here. The life he knows is here. He has several people, including myself, who are willing to hire him for employment. In my eyes, he represents the best this country has to offer.

Tomorrow morning, March 16, 2005, Eddy will face his first hearing in his deportation proceedings in San Francisco. It's largely procedural, but a packed crowd will make a huge difference because this is an issue in which community pressure will have a huge impact. Given the way the law is structured, a judge will need to be seriously persuaded before taking the risk of having him stay in the United States.

Otherwise, Eddy will be sent to China without any possibility of returning to the United States.

If you want to join me and show your support, Eddy's first hearing is tomorrow, Wednesday, March 16, at 9 am in San Francisco. It will be at 630 Sansome in Downtown SF on the 4th Floor. Print this hearing notice and bring it with you. Eddy will be listed on the docket under his Chinese name, Zheng Xiao Fei. His alien registration # is A38-049-471.

There will certainly be future hearings and I'll try to post more info here.

If you'd like more background on Eddy's story, click here.

You can also read his blog here.

Eddy's current mailing address is:

Zheng Xiao Fei Eddy, #111194
Yuba County Jail
PO Box 1031
Marysville, CA 95901

Monday, March 14, 2005


(by Junichi)

You know your Grandpa's dead when ...

  • Weekend at Kyujiro's! Kyujiro Kanaoka was known as one of Japan's oldest living men, at 107 years, although nobody had seen him in quite some time except for his three elderly children who lived with him. One of his three kids, however, suspected that his father was no longer alive. After following up on his hunch, it turns out that Kyujiro has been dead for ten years. It's hard to believe his three children didn't have some indication that their father passed away, like, for example, (1) he didn't move, (2) he didn't eat, (3) maggots were crawling through his decomposed mummified body.

  • The Saddest Love Story Ever: SoCal native Charles Gonsoulin had long hoped to finally visit, face-to-face, his girlfriend in Quebec who he met through the Internet. Unfortunately, he is barred from leaving the US because he once robbed a Pizza Hut in Arkansas. (You would think the US would happily let ex-convicts leave the country.) Thus, Charles traveled to North Dakota and illegally snuck across the Canadaian border in his quest to be with his love. Unfortunately, he got lost and was ill-prepared for the sub-zero temperatures. After spending 100 hours in the cold, he was found babbling incoherently on a golf course with his fingers and toes frozen. Alas, he (1) failed to meet his love, (2) is about to be deported, and (3) will have all of his fingers and half of his toes amputated beacuse of severe frostbite. At the deportation hearing, he said that he had no idea that any place on earth could be this cold. In summary, what will men do for love? Some are happy with getting a person's digits; others, apparently, are willing to lose their digits.

  • Guess who was an animal in his previous life? Scott Reed, football and track coach of Central Linn High School in Oregon, is facing disciplinary action after reports that he -- brace yourself -- licked the wounds and cuts of his football and track athletes. Personally, I think a coach who is willing to lick the bleeding scabs of his players should get an award. You would think, however, he might've been aware of the dangers of disease transmission since he also taught science. I propose that the high school's motto be changed to "We Take A Licking, But Keep on Ticking."

  • The End of Irony: One of The Onion's latest headlines is: "Bush Announces Iraq Exit Strategy: 'We'll Go Through Iran.'" It's sad when the Onion can't come up with a fake headline that's any different than our actual foreign policy. As The Daily Show has pointed out, our country's policy in the Middle East seems to be to spread irony everywhere.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


(by Oliver)

fact or fiction?

"Ex-Marine Says Public Version of Saddam Capture Fiction"

According to this story, the Marines faked Saddam's capture - he was taken into custody while hanging out in a village, rather than being trapped inside a "spiderhole". I look forward to seeing this one play out.

Of course, that story is nothing compared to this one:
"Al-Qaida's nefarious plot: Kidnap Crowe".

Truth is truly stranger than fiction.


(by Junichi)

Bone Thugs help Phil Collins get a ghetto pass.

With the topic of race becoming increasingly taboo, it's refreshing to see VH1 tackle it head on with their Race-O-Rama series. Once the home of 1950s oldies videos, VH1 is now continuing their collab with the Ego Trip collective, which helped produce last year's "TV’s Illest Minority Moments" special.

Ego Trip's "Book of Racism" book is a great read. So naturally, I had high hopes.

I finished watching their first three one-hour shows: "Dude, Where’s My Ghetto Pass," "Blackaphobia" and "In Race We Lust." And my high hopes have deflated faster than Bob Dole's erection without Viagra.

The series descibes itself as a "a potently funny, yet serious look at America’s biggest taboo subject — race — [that] promises to propel our culture’s both subtle and blatant lingering racism into the forefront of national debate."

While VH1 uses its signature "Best Week Ever" and "I Love the 80s" format of mixing sarcastic commentary with ridiculous clips to create humorous moments, the show is hardly "serious," as the hype promised. I would be shocked if this show does anything to propel racism a millimeter into the forefront of any debate.

In "Dude, Where's My Ghetto Pass?," the show takes on mostly white people's obsession with black culture and their desire to be "down." I give the show props for bringing up discussion topics that few mainstream shows or publications ever address. Granted, it's a complicated topic that can't really be dissected in a one-hour show. But they don't even try. This show never digs deep, avoiding discussions of cultural authenticity and appropriation, despite the presence of commentators like Michael Eric Dyson and Aaron McGruder.

In the end, you just learn that Phil Collins, Al Pacino, Eminem, Teena Marie, and Bill Clinton have a ghetto pass, but Justin Timberlake lost his.

The irreverence of the shows provides a convenient way to bring up stereotypes without having to break them down. One show discusses white people's fear of black people by showcasing clips of Ike Turner and Mike Tyson. Another talks about how black people are on welfare and think of the first of the month as payday. In yet another episode, commentators mention a myriad of stereotypes of Asian women without deflating them, give or take a token comment by Miss Info.

Occasionally, the show posits original theories -- e.g., light-skinned black people like Malcolm X and Angela Davis become militant to make up for their light skin. But the flippant commentary keeps reminding the viewer, "don't take us seriously."

"In Race We Lust," the most cutting-edge of the three episodes, takes on interracial relationships and biracial celebrities. The show showcases a number of fetishes constructed in cinema and television. But while I was amused at debates like "Who's more Latina -- Christia Aguilera or Cameron Diaz?," the show is just cotton candy posing as something sharper.

One final thought: maybe VH1 is watering the content down and censoring the more controversial commentary. I wouldn't be surprised.

But I don't see any hint that the producers wanted to seriously tackle big issues, which is fine (it is VH1, after all), but ultimately disappointing.

To find out when repeated airings are coming on, click here.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


(by Oliver)

nobody gets down like the 'Town

  • Trust the L.A. Times to highlight a uniquely Oakland phenomenon: sideshows, where caravans of cars roll through East Oakland, doing donuts in intersections (you have to peep the video of all this - c r a z y), occassionally slamming into one another, storefronts, etc.

    Obviously, I lived in the quieter part of Oakland from 1997 until this past summer since I had no idea this was all going on (O-Dub = disconnected from the streets) but it's nice to know that organic street culture (albeit really dangerous and stupid street culture) is still thriving in the 'Town. And all this time, I thought it was just my peoples that roamed the streets at night, bringing mayhem and havoc. I bet OPD wishes they had left all the foolios at Eastmont just do their thing there instead of turning MacArthur into one long crusing strip.

    And just because it needs to be said: this is all so hyphy.
    (apologies - and thanks - to Piotr Orlov, who knows more about what's going on in my backyard than I do)

  • Strangely, 50 Cent's recent public beef with The Game has managed to, in my opinion, overshadow the fact that his CD just came out. I only say this because 50 poppin' smack on radio is considerably more exciting than 90% of what's on The Massacre though, surprisingly, our man K at the NY Times likes the album quite a bit. Pop Life is feeling "Ski Mask Way" and the remix of "Love It or Hate It" but besides a handful of other songs, we're left uninspired by the fact that 50 retreads most of his last album, just half as fresh. Is he fooling anyone with that C-grade "Magic Stick" known as "Candy Shop"? Apparently, some folks are offended by the song's sexual content but really, you should be offended by the sheer laziness of a lyrical effort that uses a lollipop = oral sex metaphor. When you start biting Lil Kim songs, it's time to step your game up.

    J-Smooth has been staying on top of the 50/Game beef and brings us this commentary from Mel Man with some insightful points about the possible roots of the conflict. Most telling to me is that 50 seems mad that Dr. Dre didn't work on more of his album because he was too busy with The Game's CD but as Mel Man notes, if 50 had been more patient, Dre could have gotten around to dropping more tracks for him.

    I take a pause and want to ask: if 50 Cent is running G-Unit, shouldn't he know when key producers in his squad (like, um, Dre) are available and not available to work on the various G-Unit projects (like, um, his own album)? Maybe I'm giving Curtis too much credit here, but I assumed that he would have wanted Dre on The Game album given their mutual Compton roots, ergo, why would he get all screwfaced over the fact that the Dr. would be a little too caught up to finesse The Massacre? Just saying.

  • Speaking of important hip-hop albums (not that The Massacre is remotely one of them), our man Hua weighs in on the legacy of Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and relevance it might have for today. (Hint, apparently, not enough)

  • And speaking of rappers with overblown egos (I'm talking about 50, not Chuck D), Gossiping Bitches destroys Kanye in a recent faux-news story.

  • Lastly, in case you missed it, RZA was on NPR's Fresh Air today. Normally, I tend to wince when Terry Gross interviews rappers - in the past, she's revealed a limited understanding of hip-hop history, culture and society, relaying on familiar assumptions (she seems especially drawn to whether rappers did or did not grow up in the 'hood), etc. This, however, was one of the best interviews I've heard her do with a hip-hop figure and I give much of this credit to Rza who's one smart guy and is just a fantastic interview.


    (by Junichi)

    Crouching Lion, Hidden Demon

    A few months ago, a 46-year-old Taiwanese man was bitten in the arms and legs at the Taipei Zoo after he jumped into the lion’s pen and attempted to convert the animals to Christianity, yelling at them, "Jesus will save you!" and "Come bite me!"

    This story reminds me of my steadfast belief that the next round of crazy fundamenatlist nutjobs with a messianic complex will probably be Asian.

    And I think they're going to give David Koresh and Jim Jones a run for their maniacal money.

    Monday, March 07, 2005

    open thread: MJ edition

    (by Junichi)

    If you've been following the trial (or, like me, watching the E! trial re-enactments), what do you think of the prosecution's case thus far?

    Do you believe that the King of Pop really licked a 13-year-old cancer victim on the head for about six seconds, gave him "Jesus Juice," showed him Internet porn sites, and walked around naked and erect?

    Will Michael Jackson be found guilty of child molestation?

    Is he guilty?

    Take it away.


    (by Junichi)

    This MSNBC article confirms what should be obvious to every American today: if you ever go missing, you best be young, white, and female.

    Whenever a Polly Klaas or a Jon Benet Ramsey is abducted, I know their names better than my own ATM pin code, due to ubiquitous media coverage and my inability to remember my ATM pin code. Their faces become more familiar to me than that of my Siamese twin.

    I didn't pay much attention to the news coverage of Chandra Levy, Congressman Gary Condit's lover from Stockton. But I still saw her face on the news so many times that when I went for a walk -- to my bathroom or to pick up my remote control -- I would subconsciously check to see if I saw her (or Gary Condit) around.

    Don't get me wrong: coverage is a good thing. I like living in a country that cares about missing children.

    But the problem is that there are almost 100,000 adults or juveniles in the United States who are currently missing -- right now -- under circumstances that suggest kidnapping, abduction, or something more ominous. (There are almost a million missing persons total.)

    Obviously, CNN can't occupy all 24 hours with information about every missing person.

    After all, our media needs to cover important matters like Paris Hilton's loss of privacy or the fact that President Clinton slept on the floor so that President Bush could have the bed on their tsunami ex-presidents tour.

    But why is the media so blatantly biased towards covering the missing young white girls? Are we, as a society, programmed to empathize more with the Elizabeth Smarts of the world, and less with the Randy Lee Williams (a missing black man) of the world?

    Is it a coincidence that our highway's Amber Alert system for missing persons is also named after a young white girl?

    Do we just not care about missing old men of color? Tell us, Winona Ryder!

    So remember: if I vanish, tell the press that I am a:
    • cute
    • impressionable
    • pink-wearing
    • Barbie-doll-playing
    • young
    • white
    • female
    • virgin
    • (who may have been forced by my kidnappers to look like a 31-year-old Asian male).
    And should the story of my missing body ever follow insignificant, fluffy news -- like, for example, the fact that The White House is outsourcing torture by having the CIA send suspected terrorists to foreign countries for "interrogation" - tell Fox News that my training bra barely contained my budding womanhood when I entered the Miss Tween USA pageant.

    Originally posted on The Pnut House

    Sunday, March 06, 2005


    (by Oliver)

    the limey you love to hate

    And to think...I was bemoaning the end of The Wire, Season 3 only to forget that Deadwood, Season 2 was lurking right around the corner. I'll be plainspoken here: The Wire is the best show on TV for enumerable reasons...but if I had to account for them, let's start with the fact that over three seasons, the quality of its ensemble cast, scripting, story arcs and potential to surprise have never faltered. If Season 3 demonstrated anything, it was to expect the unexpected but never in a way that felt forced or contrived. To boot, it's one of the few shows to demonstrated a depth of understanding of America's urban, racial and class politics. That alone merits the show accolades.

    This said, Deadwood is the best new show of the last year. Its strengths are shared with other HBO shows like The Wire and Sopranos - impressive ensemble cast, sprawlilng storylines that unfold patiently over the course of a season, and oh yeah, healthy doses of sex and violence. But to its own particular credit, what makes The Wire so strong is how well crafted its characters are - almost every single one of them men and women are flawed and contradictory but this only enhances their appeal.

    The most obvious example is Ian McShane, who plays Al Swearengen. I can't think of a more magnetic character who is simultaneously despicable (in this regards, he's got it all over Tony Soprano). Though Sheriff Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) is the supposed "good guy" on the show, his repression is so tightly wound inward that he's a hard hero to like. His decency is admirable but he's also got a stick up his rear the size of a pine log. In contrast, Swearengen's a free-flowing stream of ego-driven impulse, Machiavellian ruthlessness and enough profanity to make a Marine barracks blush. You hate him but really, you love him.

    Not everyone else is as charismatic but what makes the show so brilliant is that every character fits into the larger cast - nothing is wasted despite having to juggle a dozen or two people on any given show. Frankly, I'm surprised more actors aren't killing each other to guest on this, just to say they were on Deadwood. How many other times do you get to dress up in fancy Western duds and call people "c***suckers" like you're wishing them "good morning"?

    Here's the sweetest part: unlike other HBO shows that take two years to come to DVD, Deadwood, Season 1 is alerady on DVD...which means, if you act REALLY fast, you might be able to watch the whole season and then catch the encore by next weekend. Seriously, do it.

    And don't forget - speaking of insanely great shows on TV: The Shield, Season 4 is about to jump off. Network narrative drama is so anemic compared to cable, it's a joke. I like Lost as much as the next guy (hey, I can dig their new-found numerology) but it's like a pleasant jingle - not the full-blown aria.

    Friday, March 04, 2005


    (by Junichi)

    No Diggity, No Doubt

    Growing up on hip hop, with immigrant parents who didn't listen to any 50s/60s/70s/80s "American" music, I was first introduced to a grip of great songs and artists because they were sampled in songs I liked.

    Today, 70s classics like "Knee Deep" by Funkadelic or "Walk on the Wildside" by Lou Reed or "Superfly" by Curtis Mayfield are on my list of songs that every person should know. But the reality is that I first discovered these songs because they were sampled in "Me Myself & I" by De La Soul, "Can I Kick It" by A Tribe Called Quest, or "Egg Man" by the Beastie Boys, respectively.

    It probably wasn't until MC Hammer blew up after sampling Rick James' "Superfreak" that I instantly recognized a sample.

    Shameful, I know.

    Most of the time, I didn't even know another song was being sampled.

    Of course, the cycle continues. I cringe anytime somebody doesn't recognize that Puffy is blatantly sampling the hook from Police's "Every Breath You Take" or that E40 and 2Pac are lifting large parts of Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is."

    Today, I'm a mildly-quasi-reasonably educated fan of breaks and classic soul (thanks, Soul Sides!). But I'm happy to confess my constant ignorance.

    In this spirit, I made three Top 10 lists this morning: (1) a list of big hits that I'm ashamed to admit I didn't know before I heard it used as a sample; (2) a list of songs that I mostly love because I like listening to the famous break or hook that was sampled; and (3) my favorite songs that sample James Brown's "Funky Drummer" (which I didn't realize was being sampled until the mid-1990s -- I thought there was a drum machine that just used this pattern).

    Here we go ...

    Top 10 Songs I'm Embarrassed To Admit I Didn't Know Before I Heard The Hip Hop Song That Sampled It

    1. "I'm Coming Out" - Diana Ross (used in "Mo Money, Mo Problems" by Notorious B.I.G. feat. Puff Daddy and Mase)
    2. "It's Your Thing" - Isley Brothers (used in Salt 'n Pepa's "Shake Your Thang" and Kris Kross' "Jump")
    3. "Got To Be Real" - Cheryl Lynn (used in 3rd Bass' "Brooklyn-Queens" and Father MC's "Do 4 U")
    4. "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" - Hall & Oates (used in "Say No Go" by De La Soul)
    5. "Under Pressure" - Queen (used in "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice)
    6. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" - The Beatles (used in the Beastie Boys' "Sounds of Science")
    7. "All Night Long" - Mary Jane Girls (used in LL Cool J's "Around The Way Girl" and Big Daddy Kane's "Smooth Operator")
    8. "Stay With Me" - DeBarge (used in "One More Chance (Remix)" by Notorious B.I.G., which itself was sampled by Ashanti's "Foolish")
    9. "Think" - Aretha Franklin (used in "The Gas Face" by 3rd Bass)
    10. "Evil Ways" - Santana (used in Mellow Man Ace's "Mentirosa")
    At least I'm man enough to admit it.

    Top 10 Songs I Dig Mostly Because I Like The Way It Was Sampled
    1. "Think (About It)" - Lyn Collins (used in "It Takes Two" by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock)
    2. "Blind Alley" - Emotions (used in countless songs, but most obviously in "Ain't No Half-Steppin" by Big Daddy Kane, "Jiggable Pie" by AMG, and "Dreamlover" by Mariah Carey)
    3. "Open Your Eyes" - Bobby Caldwell (used in "The Light" by Common)
    4. "Be Real Black For Me" - Robert Flack & Donny Hathaway (used in "On My Block" by Scarface feat. 2Pac)
    5. "Canatloupe Island" - Herbie Hancock (used in "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)" - US3)
    6. "Apache" - Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band (used in MC Hammer's "Turn This Mutha Out" and Nas' "Made You Look")
    7. ""I Got The ..." - Labi Siffre (used in Eminem's "My Name Is")
    8. "White Horse" - Laid Back (used in Monifah's "Touch It")
    9. "Clean Up Woman" - Betty Wright (used in Mary J. Blige's "Real Love (Remix)")
    10. "When The Levee Breaks" - Led Zeppelin (used in Beastie Boys - "Rhymin' & Stealin'" among others)

    Top 10 Songs That Sample "Funky Drummer" by James Brown

    1. "Run's House" - Run D.M.C.
    2. "Waiting for That Day" - George Michael
    3. "Jackin' for Beats" - Ice Cube
    4. "Mama Said Knock You Out" - L.L. Cool J
    5. "Shadrach" - Beastie Boys
    6. "Fuck Tha Police" - NWA
    7. "Bring The Noise" / "Fight The Power" - Public Enemy
    8. "I Am Stretched on Your Grave" - Sinead O'Connor
    9. "Gett Off" - Prince
    10. "We Are The Champions (Remix)" - Queen


    (by Junichi)

    John Cho will be in the house! Denizen Kane (Dennis Kim)! Lane Nishikawa!

    This Saturday, March 5, 2005
    Conference, 9:30am-4:30pm, Dwinelle Hall
    Theatre Rice, 5-7 pm, Dwinelle Hall
    John Cho, 7-10 pm, Wheeler Auditorium
    UC Berkeley Campus

    More details here.

    For those in the bay area, come check it out.

    Thursday, March 03, 2005


    (by Junichi)

    How could you forget about me, Mr. Duplicity?

    In the Feb. 2005 Esquire, columnist Chuck Klosterman poses the following hypothetical question:
    Let's say you have two friends named Jack and Jane. They have been romantically involved for two years, and the relationship has always been good. Then one day Jack calls you and sadly mutters, "Jane just broke up with me." You ask why this happened. Jack says, "She thinks I cheated on her." You ask, "Well, did you?" Jack says, "I'm not sure. Something strange happened."

    This is what Jack proceeds to tell you:

    "There is this woman in my apartment building who I barely know. I've seen her in the hallway a few times, and we've just sort of nodded our hellos. She is very normal looking, neither attractive nor unattractive. Last week, I came home from the bar very drunk, and I ran into her while I was getting my mail. She was drunk, too. So just to be neighborly, we decided to go to her apartment to have one more beer. But because we were intoxicated, the conversation was very loose and slightly flirtatious. And then she suddenly tells me that she has a bizarre sexual quirk: She can have an orgasm only if a man watches her masturbate. This struck me as fascinating, so I started asking questions about why this was. And then - somehow - it just sort of happened. I never touched her and I never kissed her, but I ended up watching this woman masturbate. And then I went home and went to bed. I told Jane about this a few days later, mostly because it was all so weird. But Jane went fucking insane, and she angrily said our relationship was over. Now she won't even return my calls.

    Whose side do you take, Jack's or Jane's?
    Klosterman claims women almost always think Jane's rage and breakup is completely valid, while most men think it merely warrants time in the doghouse. I'm not so sure.

    Since all my friends are nuns, I thought I'd seek more interesting responses by asking Pop Life readers their thoughts.

    Whose side do you take, Jack's or Jane's? For you, when does it become cheating? Discuss.

    Wednesday, March 02, 2005


    (by Junichi)

    Buckingham Palace or Buck-nekkid Palace?

    Found Elsewhere:
    • Royal Dis! The Queen of England announced she's not going to attend her son's April wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles. I have no comment on this matter except to make the obvious point that she prefers to spend an intimate evening with the man sitting to her right in the above photo, which answers the age-old question of what's underneath the kilt.

    • That's Not Yo Cheese! Speaking of indecent exposure, the latest criminal trend will surely be nude men covered in nachos burglarizing your home. Police recently arrested a 23-year-old guy, on his birthday, in his birthday suit, who was found leaving a pool facility, scaling an 8-foot fence with a box of stolen snacks and a container of nacho cheese, with the processed orange goodness in his hair, on his face and on his shoulders. I hope this inspires copycat crimes and leads to new personalities like the Nachostalker and the UnaNacho.

    • Dinner with White Supremacists at Applebee's! A great SF Weekly interview highlights pleasant chain-restaurant conversation like, "It's really horrible about the Asian problem [in the bay area.]" Do you think this Aryan rights activist is complaining about fusion restaurants also?

    • Million Dollar Bigot? While the Oscars (rightfully, imho) championed Clint Eastwood, director of Million Dollar Baby, effectively defending him against right-wing media attacks, here is a contrasting story of Clint Eastwood's high-profile role as an opponent of disability rights.

    • Shut Em Down! I am immensely inspired by the people of Lebanon, and especially the 25,000 nonviolent protestors, who pressured their entire government to resign. C'mon good Americans! Let's all gather 25,000 of our closest friends and pressure our government to resign! We're 229 years overdue!

    • Roper v. Simmons - Hallelujah! I was nervous that the next landmark death penalty case was called "Roper." But alas, the Supreme Court has -- there is a God -- categorically banned the state from executing minors in a monumental and surprising decision. In my opinion, the most significant and exciting part of the decision is that the majority gave deference to "the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty." This is a huge precedent given that the overwhelming weight of international opinion is against the death penalty for juveniles and adults alike. I can only hope that this is a sign that the Supreme Court, for the second time, will strike down the death penalty altogether.