Friday, October 30, 2009

Things I don't understand #72...

...Why Halloween has to be an annual thing.

If you follow this blog closely(and I mean really closely) and have a good memory(and I mean a really good memory) you might recall my stance on All Hallows' Eve. Obviously, it's not in the affirmative. Seriously, couldn't we all just do without this? The pranks. The bad candy. The begging for said candy. The over 5 billion dollar costume industry. The "haunted houses". How do we get a referendum going? I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority here, but some things never change. As this post from five years ago can attest.

...I feel compelled to say,"I hate Halloween." Not for any sort of religious reason. I actually think the whole "we'll call it Fallfest, or Harvest party, or some other obligatory church/school creation with a name that draws attention to the color of the leaves and makes every attempt not to use the word Halloween in any form" to save the children from the "evil" effects of All Hallows' Eve is a little silly. Kids can understand make believe. I grew up calling it Halloween and still did not feel compelled to worship Satan. Or trees. Nor do I think any human can fly on a broom. Speaking of growing up. I hated Halloween as a kid, too. The same drama seemed to play out every year as I would decide I was not participating in the Trick...or Treating while my little sister grew more impatient as my mom attempted to remind me of all I would be missing. I would then capitulate, but only so the tension would end... and for the candy. I still hated it. I hated dressing up. Still do. Costumes hold no allure for me. Plus, I wasn't fond of having to beg for the candy either. Not much of a beggar. I really wanted to just look up at the patronizing adult and say,"If you want to give me the candy, you see the plastic pumpkin. If not, fine. I don't really need your candy." But I didn't. I played the part. Smiled and took my wages for looking like a fool. Sister happy, Mom happy. Halloween another 364 days away. Man, I hate Halloween.

But hey, Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Things I don't understand #71...

...Why I don't get invited to parties like this(see video at bottom).

Don't get me wrong. I get invited to parties(Lots and lots of parties.).  But not parties that feature very intimate settings with live bands.  So yes, I'm gonna talk about music again.  It's Monday. It's Music Monday. Go ahead, test me on this. Come back next week and see if I not talking about music again.

This week it's a band that I pretty much stumbled upon all on my lonesome called The Love Language.  And I get the feeling no one really knows about them, yet.  At least, not any of the sources I usually consult. In fact, they're so big their only internet presence comes in the form of a myspace page(Go ahead, give them a listen). But the kids are good. And having fun. They're a little more lo-fi than I usually prefer, but I found it impossible not to like their stuff. You may find it possilble not to like them, but I dare you to watch/listen to the track below and not have some involuntary toe-tapping going on. Impossible! (Added bonus: While watching the video[1:40 mark], feel free to compare and contrast the energy levels of the tamborine/keyboards chick and the bass player. Bass players: The hall monitor of the rock world.)

"Lalita" - The Love Language from Sitcom Serf on Vimeo.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Things I don't understand #70...

...why you're not listening to Lyle Lovett.

Yeah, that's what I said. If you just snickered, I hate you. Ok, hate's a strong wrong. I severely despise you and heavily question your ability to make aural judgments. I know I might have made some promises, but we're talking about Lyle here. I'm from Texas. He's from Texas. Yes, he's got kinda of an odd look. But when's the last time you married Julia Roberts. I thought so. Despite what ever you might think, he's a genius. He's what should have happened to country music in the 90's and 00's instead of Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney and Rascal Flatts and all that, well, crap that Nashville spewed out instead.

I haven't heard his new album yet, but I'm pretty comfortable saying you should go buy it right now.(Oh wow, look at that. There's a handy link right up there so you can do that. Neat.) Whether live or in a recorded format, he never disappoints. So do what's right, do it for America, and do something good for your heart and get you some Lyle Lovett today...whether you're from Texas or not.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Things I don't understand #69...

...Why the Michelin Man is white.

Seriously, he's made of tires. My lifelong experience with tires would suggest two things. One, they're made of rubber. Two, they're black. Do any color-association with a three-year-old and I'm pretty sure it would play out like this.
- "Apple?"
- "Wed!"
- "Grass?"
- "Gween."
- "Tires?"
- "Back!"

You know what I mean, though. And while I may not understand why Bibendum, creation of O'Galop at the behest of the French tire company, is white; I think he probably helped to make you racist.

I actually had the idea for this particular post a couple of weeks ago when I saw a Michelin commercial and was immediately bothered by the same question that arose when I was but a wee lad. "If he's made of tires, why is he white?" I'm almost positive I drove at least one parent to the brink of madness as I laid out my case against the Michelin Man's inherent "tirey-ness". I finally was forced to console myself--after being assured that he was indeed made of tires-- with the fact that there must be some where in the world or in history where white tires were prevalent. So, while that could be true, shouldn't at some point this character at least gotten a tan?

Anyway, I'm currently reading Blink  by Malcolm Gladwell. In it there's a brief section that talks about the unconscious or implicit racism that we all seem to carry around despite what we choose to believe, say, and do. Basically, our environment and the various influences that make up our cognitive world secretly whisper, "White good, black bad." So much so that even black people can't escape it's effect. There's even a test produced by Harvard's Project implicit you can take to see just how implicitly racist you are (I was moderately influenced, which I think is pretty impressive considering I grew up in small town Texas). And while I read this, the first thing I thought of was the Michelin Man. He may not have been created with any thought as to which color was more appropriate. But in the end, an iconic character known the world over might have become one more in the long line of influences that makes us react to people in ways we wish we didn't.

So, to all my black friends out there, I would like to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry that somewhere far below the surface I might "think" something less of you than I should. (Please remember that this is in my subconscious and almost entirely out of my control. Please?) I'm sorry that your life might be harder at times because of implicit racism. I'm sorry that I liked the Michelin Man at some point. But know, as with most things, it's the French's fault.