Monday, March 28, 2011

Passive Karma's Gonna Get You

Do you ever think that luck can literally run out?

Portrait of my past few days:
  • Lost my iPhone
  • Got dumped.
  • My new receiver, approximately two days outside the return window, died and left me without the comfort of depressing movies and TV.

But I can't complain, can I? The last few months my cup hath overfloweth with luck. I got through the final bit of my PhD without a hitch and landed a sweet job at the same time, all the while accomplishing assorted things on the side. The luck supply was sure to run out.

It's like passive karma. If good things happen to come your way for a while, fate's gotta balance that out with some chance misery.

I talk as if fate is supernatural, but it need not be. Maybe fate is just statistics. Let's say you flip a coin 10 times and it comes up heads all 10 times. Chances are, if you flip it another 10 times, it'll come up closer to 5 heads. This regression to the mean occurs after any unusual run; you can't escape returning to the baseline.

Now let's assume that the baseline of life is 50% crappy (because let's face it, life just isn't sunshine and rainbows. We're not designed that way). Any time you're running at 90% good stuff for a month, chances are that the next month is gonna have about 40%1 more crap coming your way than the month before.

Most emo math lesson ever.

The upside is that if you're running at 10% good, chances are things will look up. Having only 10% good for your entire life is just so statistically improbable that hope is only rational.

This is assuming all is left to chance. If you're consciously doing things to make your own life crappy, that's all you.

On that note, looking back, getting drunk and leaving my phone in a cab isn't exactly a chance occurrence. And relationships? Well, those are all the conscious and unconscious decisions of two people, so while their workings may be mysterious, I wouldn't call them random.

That fucking receiver though...working one moment, not working the next. Faulty technology is all coin-flip.

1 44.4% actually, but I'd confuse people if I wrote that.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Slice of Russian Music

I got this email a while ago:

Musical breakthrough from Russia.

Dear friends!

[...]I am an independent music promoter from Moscow, Russia. First of all, I would like to thank you for your excellent work: I really loved your website and I respect your music taste — that's why I decided to write to you.

My mission is to promote modern Russian music worldwide. In the last few years, lots of interesting new artists have emerged on the local scene, and we would like to bring this music to the attention of music lovers all over the world.

He goes on to describe the band he is currently promoting:

Cheese People “Cheese People” (2009)

The Cheese People are a female-fronted four-piece based in the city of Samara (small by Russian standards) on the banks of the Volga. They first started to jam in 2003, and after a few years of playing in local basements they found themselves in the position of Russia's most powerful and popular disco punk band.

Their debut self-titled CD is a no-budget and self-produced recording, which however manages to sound more powerful and groovy than most Russian mainstream major-label pop. Due to its winning combination of catchy melodies, absurd lyrics, intricate sample work and unusual meowing vocal lines, this band can become an international breakthrough for Russian music.

In case you missed it, let me point out the funny: they are called CHEESE PEOPLE

"Cheese" is one of those inherently funny words, alongside:
  • Schnitzel
  • Turd
  • Beef
  • Asperger
  • Burger
  • Bieber
  • Etc.

Usually I ignore emails like this, but add the cheese hilarity (hahahahalololol cheese) to "disco punk band" and "unusual meowing vocal lines," and I'm totally sold. I just had to share this with you, world.

You can download the album Cheese People, by the band Cheese People, here. It's actually not bad.

Do you think they just really like cheese, or are they literally people made of cheese? And if the latter, which kind? Can they taste themselves?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Charlie Sheen: The Phronk Connection

Unless you've been living under a crack rock, you know about Charlie Sheen's recent media shitstorm. In a series of interviews (and now on Twitter and uStream), he's unleashed creative combinations of crazy talk, told unapologetic tales of partying like a dead rock star, and showed off the two "goddess" porn stars that he lives with.

Hey, remember this post from a while ago?

That is none other than Rachel Oberlin, aka Bree Olson, aka the actress that giggled at my dumb joke and was pretty much in love with me. Charlie Sheen done stole my woman.

Aside from that, part of me admires Sheen. There is something to be said for living life how you like it and not giving a shit what everyone else thinks, and that is especially hard when you're in the public eye. Good for him if the recent attention is just rebelling against an uptight society that can't handle that he's enjoying his life and not hurting himself or anyone else.

Ah, but's the sticky icky point: he's probably hurting people. Nothing wrong with a little drug use, but there comes a point where it's doing physical and mental damage. More importantly, there's evidence that he's probably not the nicest person, what with women he's been with tending to end up bruised or shot.

Still, he's an entertainer, and he's a hell of a lot more entertaining now than he was on that sanitized antifunny show he was inexplicably paid more than any other actor on TV to be in. I can admire his bold new method of amusing people while despising his rage. Einstein fucked around and ruined his first wife's life before marrying his cousin, but relativity is still pretty cool.

I doubt Sheen's contribution will last as long though. There are only so many combinations of the words "winning", "tiger," and "warlock" to mash together before it gets old. I think his best move now (and I do think he's self aware enough to capitalize on all this) is to go Busey-style crazy rather than Haim-style crazy.

Oh, and he better treat Bree with respect, or she'll be running on back to me.