Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Xt'Tapalatakettle's Grocery List

An article in the latest issue of Science (and yes, I read it, smart guy) discusses the discovery in Cascaja, Veracruz, Mexico in 1999 of a small (36 x 21 x 13 cm) stone block from the Olmec civilization which they proclaim to be the "oldest writing in the New World". The glyphs are faint and difficult to discern in photographs, so instead of showing you this boring looking rock, you get to look at the cool giant stone head on the right. (Can you say Xt'Tapalatakettle?) The rock was discovered by workmen in a quarry with minor other artifacts - shards of pottery, fragments of figurines, etc. - and kept in the home of a local cultural expert. There is a bit of a dispute about the age of the artifacts as they were not unearthed in the proper archeological manner. Said one smart ass "Once I owned a home near to Lincoln's log cabin, but that proximity didn't date my house to the same period. Likewise, the literally mixed bag of shards kept by village authorities doesn't help at all to date the piece." Log Cabin Guy has a point, though of course the authors are optimistic that the stone is older than any other known piece of writing in the New World. Some are skeptical that it is writing at all, though it is hard not to imagine that this isn't at least some primitive form of it. There are 28 distinct characters and 62 in all forming six or seven meandering lines of text. Nobody's quite sure exactly what this is as it doesn't appear to be directly related to succeeding forms of writing, so the authors have suggested that it was possibly a local script that fell out of use, some form of secret shamanic writing, or a once widely used script that died off.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Text I removed from the Wikipedia entry on the Ratt song "Round and Round"

It offers a catchy melody around a hook-laden riff. The song was masterfully written, performed, and produced, even drawing comparisons to the work of [[the Beatles]] with its flawless execution of post-[[WWII]] [[pop rock]]. To be sure, the song quickly established Ratt as a force to be reckoned with in the realm of [[music]] and stands as an eternal testament to their golden era during the mid-[[1980s]].

The song serves as a definitive manifesto for the ideological trajectory of the band. It's shamleless embrace of [[Absolute idealism|Absolute Idealism]] offers a striking juxtaposition to the popular [[worldview]]s of the day, including [[nihilism]], [[existentialism]], and [[social relativism]].

However, Ratt cannot be neatly catogorized as simple [[Neo Hegelians]]. Their work is rooted in [[Antiphon]]'s rhetoric much more than [[Platonic]] discourse. Even then, Ratt also offered a new take on philosophy that can be ascribed to no one but Ratt, making them true originals.

This also reflected in their music, as their brand of rock was based on influences different than that of their peers. However, they can be seen as helping evolve the musical landscape all their own, again in deep contrast to other artists of their time.

The video conveys Ratt's desire to rebel against the [[ivory tower]] elites who'd usurped control over all matters of popular discourse. Ratt co-opted [[Ronald Reagan]]'s message of restoring power to the people, as opposed to the stuffy pseudo-intellectual liberal academics who'd asserted themselves (along with their blasé [[rhetoric]]) during the [[1960s]] and [[1970s]]. However, Ratt's take on this view is rooted in [[rebellion]] from [[oppression]] and therefore [[anti-authoritarian]]. Though Reagan fought off [[tyranny]] through his [[geopolitical]] policies, his was premised on a restoration of popular [[worldview]] to an older from of idealization ("[[The American Dream]]"). Ratt didn't neccesarily discount the [[archetype]], but they did offer an entirely different take on the concept.

More lame band names

Including suggestions from the peanut gallery. Keep 'em coming!

Anal Cunt

"Let's see, we can't play or write songs worth crap, we aren't clever....I know, let's be offensive dicks!"


Is it some form of compress? A sex game? Both? I don't think we want to know.


The jokes just write themselves with this one.

Limp Bizkit

Even if they weren't named after the disgusting frat boy party game of urban legend, the game is a good metaphor for what it's like to have to listen to them.

Mötley Crüe

The name says "pirate", but the spelling says "idiot".


One T is a common rodent, but two is pure badass.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Don't Tread On Me

From Reuters via mkbscratch:

The lamest band names ever

...that I could think of on the way to work.

Bay City Rollers

Even if they weren't named after rollerskating (and I don't care to do the research to find out), it's still a stupid name.

Def Leppard

Do I really have to explain this one to you?

Frou Frou

You'd think someone at the coffee house would have told Imogen and Guy that their name was really dumb.

Guess Who

They started out with an even dumber name, Chad Allan and the Expressions, but their record company decided to build up a mystique by not actually identifying the band, labeling all the records "Guess Who?", hoping some idiot would think they were The Beatles. Instead the name stuck, and not only is it a stupid marketing gimmick gone awry, it's also far too similar to the name of a far better band. Pretty much a lose lose lose situation.

It's a Beautiful Day

A decent psychedelic 60s band, their biggest hit being the stunning song "White Bird". But their stupid name isn't even a name, it's a phrase. Damn hippies.


There is something to be said for truth in advertising.


What does this name even mean? Queen of the Reich? Is that the message you guys really want to send?


Why only one X, girls? Would more be too gratuitous?