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after months of trash talk, promises, infomercials, electioneering, framed media clips, inspirational talk, and disappointing discourse, tomorrow is Election Day.  just hours until polls open in New Jersey.  we have been lead to believe this is the most important election in our time (it is for me) and with arguably the most important nominee in recent memory (for me, Barack Obama fits that mold as well).  My candidate of preference remains Dennis Kucinich;  i voted for him (DK) in the primaries, but I cannot deny Mr. Obama’s demeanor and potential (if one could measure such a thing).

Yet there’s a part in me that would honestly like to see some random third party candidate win in out in true underdog fashion.  the way both Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama have prostituted themselves in the past couple of weeks has been laughable.  From interviews with Mario Lopez and Mary Hart to a halftime spot on Monday Night Football airing tonight,  the lengths these candidates have been forced to go is laughable.  I stress the word forced.  There’s no doubt their respective committees have forced both men to act (and not act) in ways that would supposedly influence “undecided” voters of so-called swing states.  And who are these undecided people anyway?  I don’t believe they exist, and probably wouldn’t have voted in the first place.  At least bigots have the conviction of voting for their party of choice, albeit at the expense of our nation’s economic status.

Rereading that last sentence above, i found myself laughing a bit.  there are some black people who will vote for Obama seemingly because he’s black, just like some white voters will vote for McCain because he’s white (or not black).  A black female coworker felt she would only vote for Obama due to skin color, so she’s not voting at all (she admittedly hasn’t followed these shady media packages like the rest of us trolls; she’s has a child she’s raising and a high mortgage to pay).

on a perverse tangent, i’ve been hearing comments that Mr. Obama will probably be assassinated during his term should he become our new president.  what goes through your heads, people?  are you more cynical than me?  are you Mickey and Mallory?

I don’t know why it surprised me, but on KISS FM in NYC they’re playing a version of Sam Cooke’s timeless “A Change is Gonna Come” with spliced quotables from the Illinois senator.  How would Sam react?  Out of pure selfishness, I want to never hear one of my favorite songs of all time be messed with like that.  It was used to perfection in Malcolm X, i don’t need to listen to a radio station’s political manifestation/manipulation of it.

I’ll see you in the polls tomorrow.

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Last week’s announcement of this year’s Lollapaloozaline-up was met with a remarkably positive reception from the internet masses, a surprise to someone like me.  You see, when Perry Farrell resurrected the traveling show, most people who care for public opinion generally opposed the somewhat sugary lineup, complaining it was too commercial and lacked the raw energy from its original early-to-mid 90s talent.

Due to lack of sales and likely poor public opinion (for the record I liked the return of Lolla since I am huge Incubus and Queens of the Stone Age fan), Farrell decided to keep the Lollapalooza brand name alive by instead turning it into a stationary festival like the ones made popular by Reading, Glastonbury, and Coachella here in the U.S. in 2005.  Chicago was chosen as the city to host the event and has since remained the site for the festival.  While the logistics of the concert have been an issue, every year it has grown in popularity, and just by looking at this year’s lineup one can see why (Kanye West, Radiohead, Broken Social Scene, Rage, many, many others).  Simply put it stole all the thunder from Coachella and its organizers Goldenvoice, but only for a brief time.

Just two weeks before showtime, the folks at Coachella announced a major addition to their weekend, the purple one himself, Prince.  Last minute additions don’t get any bigger.  and while i for one second do no think that Prince was added to keep their brand name bigger than the resurrected Lollapalloza, it has to be said it was pretty perfect timing for Goldenvoice to show of their big swinging dicks and proclaim their status as king of the mountain. 

The question is why is it so important to be number one in this field?  it’s like sticking utilizing scientific and economic resources just to stick a flag on the moon.

In the midst of this new pathetic arms race, many (and i mean that in relative terms) are complaining in the All Points West message boardabout how Coachella and Lollapalooza and Bonaroo and whoever are putting this festval to shame.  I suppose it’s a reasonable concern.  The Goldenvoice organization has been quoted as saying there wont be any more additions.  It seems right now paople are paying $100 a day just to see Radiohead, and they want to see a gazillion bands play simultaniously instead of just about 40 over 3 days (i happen to like the lineup; i’m going myself, but i woldnt mind Broken Social Scene!).  and, of course, remains the question of Jack Johnson, but that remains a national controversy rather than just a NJ travesty.

I would say you should not to believe the “no more additions” rhetoric since about a 5-6 hour drive south, the Virgin Festival will take place on the same weekend, and they have already teased the buying public with their superstar headliners.

I typed all this nonsense to bring up my main brief point:  Lollapalooza was criticized for being softcore compared to their past, but now these megasize festivals are packing tons of acts under the guise of “indie” or “legendary.”  The majority of these acts are about as mainstream as it gets.  Having Rage at Lollapalooza is not innovative;  they toured their “rare” performances all last year.  many of the big acts can tour by themselves;  there isnt any room for small acts with large potential.

The appropriation of the word indie for capital gain is hurting these festivals a bit, but there is sure a lot of money to be made.  I do want a few more acts to be added to All Points West only to avoid seeing fans of only Radiohead.  It will be like last year’s poorly run Rock the Bell’s, by far the most pathetic turnout for a rap concert.  Hopefully organizers can learn from this display as soon as possible

  • the black keys’ new album.  don’t know what it’s called, but we’ve been hearing about this ad-nauseum because, aside from them being a good band already (I’ve only heard random songs here and there) the new album was produced by King Midas himself  DangerMouse.  Sadly, I do want to hear this, as if I’m going to point out DM’s intricate touches on the record.  the Black Key’s new album is being overshadowed by a person who’s not a member of the band, but i bet they’re happy sales for the record will increase five-fold.
  • the raconteur’s new album leaked earlier than expected on i-Tunes.  C’mon Steve Jobs, get your shit together!  you’re just trying to one-up the rest of the internet trash by getting the leak out before the rest of them.  I’m curious on two fronts:  just how many people purchased the album online while it was available, and how many people really want a new raconteurs album.  that’s one side project i cant get with.  you’d think Jack White with a bass player would kill, but it shows just how much White thrives on simplicity.  On a side-note, i used to buy albums all the time before the release date through mom and pop shops, so this was a feel good nostalgic story for me.
  • REM’s new album is their best in years, and Michael Stipe is gay.  Apparently everyone already speculated Stipe was gay to begin with, making indie/alternative rock media just another US Weekly.  I do want to hear the new album, Pitchfork says it’s their best since New Adventures in Hi-Fi.  My research skills tell me “What’s the Frequency Kenneth” wasn’t on this album (the last REM song i liked), so i have no idea what it sounded like.  and their new song sounds like Stipe is likely to die at any moment.  hopefully the next single is better.
  • Fluxblog likes one of the new Janet Jackson songs.  doesn’t surprise me at all.  i liked one of those Kanye produced songs from the last album that was unsuccessfully marketed for the 106 and Park crowd.  So I do agree that Janet sounds better when she’s “sweet” as opposed to Janet if she tried to convince me she would be my personal blow-up doll.  why is she pretending to be Mariah Carey?  MC is insane-crazy but it works for her at least (even though she wont sell many copies of her new album).  Janet just wont learn from the mistakes of Michael.

 

Babel might the one movie of all movies ever concieved the was the least deserving of all its High Praise.  That was seriously one of the biggest piece-of-shit movies i ever had the displeasure of watching.  and to think i was missing on parts of the Georgetown-Pittsburgh game because of it.  The most interesting storyline was the Japanese one, and even then I had the misfortune of looking at some girl’s hairy bush (at least that was kind of funny).  I wonder what if they made that part as its own movie;  i’d imagine it would only work as a short film with just the parts that were shown.

What was Cate Blanchett thinking when she decided she would take part in this?  did she owe someone a very large favor, or was she just doing it to get a more desirable role in the future?  this is how you under-utilize an otherwise great actor.  Brad will do anything, but this is below his standard, the dumbest movie he’s done since Meet Joe Black.  The Mexican border scene was just trite.  I almost hoped the little girl would die just to see if the lady gets the death sentence for whatever Homeland Security law she may have broken, and how that’s totally not fair and oh how those kids were so cute and blonde! and whatever other ideas and images were thrown at the audience. 

Blood Diamonds wasn’t all that either.  Leo was cool, but was embarrassing in that “accent.”  Jennifer Connoly was attractive as always, and at least she wasn’t as annoying as her part in that movie with the dude from Gladiator where he was super-smart but a total sociopath.  the only redeeming performance was that of the guy who played Solomon Vandy.  The movie felt like an after school special with the applause for our hero in the end of the movie.

avoid Babel at all costs; and I guess you can watch Blood Diamonds if you want to assure yourselves that contributing to the economy of the diamond industry is always a bad idea, but i’m sure if you have that idea floating in your head, you probably don’t need Leonardo DiCaprio to convey that for you.

i would start off with a common cliche like “do pepole really like that song?” but what’s the point really? 

i hate to sound like that guy who complains about “horrible music,” but c’mon folks!  i’m not so convinced the public is all for this song!  i’m not sure if Flo Rida is one guy or a group (i hear many voices in that song) but that opening verse sounds like Nate Dogg, but devoid of that good gangsta music!

who’s responsible fo him/them having the number 1 song on i-tunes?  that song is on like all the time.  my cousin wanted to buy it yesterday, but it took a some snark and eye-rolling to talk him out of it.  he instead bought “party like a rockstar” (i can only do so much).

anyway dude is corny in ways i cant convey in text.  he should go away in a couple of months.

there’s something miserably appropriate regarding today’s glum weather.  it’s as if we used up all our happy points for the entire month of February just to see the Giants win the only game that matters.

i’d gladly trade an extra week just to have that same feeling I felt last night.  it was palpable.  all you ever ask for as a fan is that two-minute offense scenario where your team controls their own destiny – not missed or made field goals from the other team, not penalties, certainly not bad referreeing. 

wait, did Eli really just escape that sack…hold up how did Tyree hold possession of that football…his helmet?  WTF?

It sounds silly to say, especially rearding this is sports we’re talking about, but Eli had absolutely no intention of losing this game.  They beat the best team in the NFL, no questions asked.  we are now entitled to talk shit until next September, when they do this all over again.  That’s why they play the game, that’s why we watch.

As for me, i’ll gladly bask in this peculiar afterglow for maybe a week.  Maybe I’ll go to their ticker tape parade.  after that, it’s time to retire the Giants cap, t-shirt, and whatever regalia I drape myself in every Sunday, sometimes Mondays, and every once in while on Thursdays and Saturdays.  Baseball is coming up, and the Yankees have to take care of that other New England franchise.  being a fan is having to put yourself through annual misery, just like today’s weather.  At least the sun shines in the summer.

PS.  Fuck Boston.

yeah, i bought the cheapest camera around.  i’m still broke, and my old crappy camera malfunctioned some time ago.  the last one was a Sony, and I vowed as a consumer I will never support them again.  that camera was one disappointment after another.  but yeah, back to this one.  i had a week of activities to try it out with mixed results.  but it’s not like i’m some real photojournalist or anything, although i’d like to be one in another lifetime.

this is supposed to be the Fiery Furnaces.  yeah, i technically may be fibbing, but i swear that’s them.  kick ass show, admittedly i’ve only heard a handful of songs from them.  and i have to believe the Jersey hipsters there were in the same boat, save for a few “true” fans.  i tried taking pics from every conceivable section of the backroom, it was too packed to maneuver myself upfront, and that’s literally the best shot.  i was there for the music, anyhow.

that’s my friend Joe and his wife Gaby, and that’s their first dance and Mr. and Mrs.  The pics are pretty good when you’re up close and personal.

my sister Naty and her friend Annie.  at Medieval Times, where adults go to either accompany their young ones, or get tipsy and watch dudes in horses.  Good times.  It’s interesting to point out I would have never even considered going to MT as far as 5 years ago, most likely because of some false pretension (or more likely i was just very negative all around).  but of course in the company of good people, all is worth it.  but the friggin pictures sucked.  we sat in the last row of our section and this is pretty much how all resolution came out:

confession: i only paid like 30 bucks for the camera after gift cards, so who am i to complain?

That’s a picture of Valentina The Niece, just for the love of it.

i smelled victory in my fantasy football league.  i was convinced my opponent was not on my level; our cumulative point totals indicated i was the clear favorite.  i debated such intricacies as whether to start Santonio Holmes instead of Chris Chambers, or the upside of starting Bet the hitman Favre in a dome game.

I paid attention to the weather.  but the weather screwed me.

I was jumping for joy when i saw my opponent had two players playing in Foxboro this weekend, convinced that Tom Brady would do just enough to win the game.  he did.  but my opponent subbed Benjamin Watson in favor of someone else.  he still had mike nugent kicking field goals and that paind off for me.

i benched Roethlesberger and apparently wasnt having a good game until the end when he started racking up stats and TDs in a losing effort against the Jags.  he had 3 TDs, i believe.

Favre threw 2 picks and his total yards were not as impressive. 

and for whatever reason, i didnt check the weather update for Bufallo’s game at Cleveland, and that bit me in the dick.  Lee Evans doing next to nothing.

So I hear Tom Brady adn Tony Romo screwed their owners this week.  well, that’s the breaks.

what i cant understand is how Reggie Wayne and Joe Addai didnt fare well agains the Raiders! Both players carried me this year; even when one didnt do well, the other would make up for the lack of stats.  Sadly for me, they both came up with below average numbers in a week that truly mattered.

oh yeah, MY competition had LaDanian Tomlinson on his team.  he’s a beast.

much like other internet trolls, i gawk at hot news reporters/weather chicks.  and a time-tested fact is there’s no better place to get your perv on than Latino news programs.

i know there’s no way to sound creepy while writing one of these douchy diatribes, but i’ll do my best to keep it subtle.  Mary Gamarra is by far the hottest chick doing this whole “telling the weather and looking damn good talking in front of a camera” game.  the reasons and visual evidence:

  • she’s classy
  • she’s classy
  • she’s classy and looks very fit

hello, not many people in this world can wear a dress like that and not totally skank it up, in public or in television.  she seems accessible (i’m probably fooling myself here), like i might have a chance with her (haha).  the consensus seems to be that Jackie Guerido is the baddest chick in the meteorologist game.  but in my humble opinion, there’s stench of snottiness with her good looks.  plus we all cant be like Don Omar and have easy access to her.  plus i don’t like her more recent bangs.  and she looks like she can let herself go in a few years.  I can picture a whole bunch of ho-males like the ones in Hot Chicks and Douche Bags following her around and leaving their nasty stench on her, leaving her even more repellent. 

back to Mary.  i want her to have my children.

On a similar note, i’ve noticed Karla Ramirez is one of the hosts in that awful morning program Despierta America.  For those Who don’t know, Karla used to host Control, another Univision show, about 7 years ago, i think.  and she looks great.  supposively she had a kid.  good for her!

for the last couple of weeks i’ve been thinking about going back to Ecuador, like its something i need to do before i get to be too old to really appreciate what it is to set foot in a place before i consider it to be just a place for “vacationing”  i know that my tia Paola just visited; my cousin Ricky, my brother Ivan and our friend Simon are visiting during the new year and I am insanely jealous.

I can only blame myself.  i was asked by my brother about 3 or 4 years ago to tag along with him, and I simply said no.  I wish i had an explanation for this.  I think it was because i thought it would be too boring, that in the end i would still be dependant on my uncle and aunts with day-to-day situations (walking around, sightseeing, transportation, etc.)  Ideally i want to go by myself.  obviously it would be super-rude to go to Ecuador without touching base with relatives, so i guess i wanted to avoid it altogether. 

I wonder why it is that now i’m having these thoughts.  my financial suck-ness could not get worse in the matters of surplus cash, so even a domestic trip i would consider out of the question unless i didn’t mind being broke for a month.  the immigrant in me pictures a reverse diaspora where many like me, who have lived most of their lives in another country, would like to come back for a couple of weeks and see what comes of it.  but ultimately there’s a huge apprehensiveness (is this even a word?) on my part.  Ecuador never really belonged to me or vice versa, the same way I don’t necessarily belong here, even though I am a U.S. citizen.  For anyone who might think I’m weird for this, i believe Nationalism as a concept is something of a farce, a tool used for political purposes only to let you down in the long run.

I had a dream last night where my brother Ivan’s sister was here in the States on military leave or break (confusion sets in when i couldn’t identify what country she was fighting for).  She had just come from Iraq and found her way to Pennsylvania.  My brother insisted we go visit her.  By the time i woke up, I never did get to see her.  Yet I have this mental image of what she may look like, and at this point it is hard as hell to illustrate that into words.  To me it’s just a face, it may be a memory of a picture I may have seen some years back. 

that dream makes so much more sense to me now than it did eight hours back.