Inspired by Time Magazine's selection of Person of the Year 2003, the collective notion of The American Soldier, Abrasion has made the final selection and have resolved, Abrasion Person of the Year 2003: Humans. Abrasion editors and contributors agree- Humans have a collectively achieved both greatness and tragedy in 2003, collectively growing and maturing one more year in a journey to a collective end goal across a diverse set of interests spanning political, ideological and cultural frontlines. To this we celebrate Abrasion Magazine's Person of the Year. Well done, humans. We are proud.
Long running Agatha Christie play, The Mousetrap, will get a closing performance January 15, 2003. "We are closing partly for financial reasons and partly because of changes in the rights arrangements," producer Peter Peroff told the Toronto Star. The play has been running since 1977 at the Toronto Truck Theatre, so best get your tickets for the remaining shows...
Alanis Morissette blamethrows it on the booze for the "Thank You Brazil" gaffe while onstage during her concert in Peru. Perhaps the misuse of the word "ironic" as the backbone of her hit single is best explained as a "stream of consciousness" cocktail of crystal meth, crack cocaine and moutain dew. Quickly retracting her earlier statement that fingered babbling public drunkeness for her poor geography, Ms. Morissette corrects by pointing out that "Thank You, Brazil" was actually misheard from her actual statement of "Thank You, Bless You". So you're the drunken idiot. Someone either get this woman into detox or get her a dictionary and a world atlas...
Contributor Kasm Van Dorstenborg pens the definition of Traumedy: "the comfy yet nerve-fraying point between trauma and comedy. You don't know whether to laugh or cry, but at least the psychic scars are mitigated by the sweet balm of giddy absurdity." Abrasion collects two recent public examples of Traumedy: Jack White's fist vs. Jason Stollsteimer's face and Bobby Brown's fist vs. Whitney Houston's face.
From all the gang at Abrasion, go eat some turkey!
Harold Nathan Von Braunhut, "creator" of such noodled comic book nincompoopery as X-Ray spectacles, Krazy Krabs and the legendary Sea Monkeys has sadly passed on Nov 28th, 2003. From Commercial Appeal, "Von Braunhut's piece de resistance was Sea Monkeys - which come from dried-up lake bottoms, not the sea, and are not monkeys but brine shrimp. His extravagant claims for the crustaceans - for example, that they come back from the dead and that they can be trained and hypnotized - are convincing because they are sort of true. The shrimp do follow light. Billions of shrimp have been sold, not to mention a Sea Monkey aphrodisiac and a wristwatch filled with swimming shrimp." More harrowing were the suspicions of Von Braunhut's "hard right-wing beliefs". According to a 1996 Anti-Defamation League report, he belonged to the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations. The Washington Post in 1988 published an article on him and his affiliations, adding that his relatives said he was Jewish. He repeatedly refused to discuss his beliefs on race or his religious background with journalists. Abrasion has hear from undisclosed sources, Von Braunhut's body will be freezer dried where he may, at a later date, be reconstituted by adding water.
It really really sucks when pants shitting panic strikes your food supply. Last year a single case of BSE (or more commonly, Mad Cow Disease) struck a single farm in Alberta. Without a hesitation, we witnessed the international community snap shut import/export borders, utterly eviscerating a key economic pillar of the prairie provinces. Now, the heinous prion has been identified in, thus far, a single case in the state of Washington. Having lived through both the recent Canadian BSE panic, as well as the UK wide situation while stationed in London, it seems likely that the implications will be devastating. Thankfully, the hysteria button on terrorist attack has not been media sounded. But because of the lengthy gestation time involved for BSE symptoms to manifest, unless the source and trajectory of the case is quickly discerned, the singular surefire way, and internationally assuring way to purge the threat may be 'neutralization'. Steak, anyone?
December 23rd marks Festivus, a neo-a-religious, non-commercial festival concocted by the creators of now syndicated sitcom Seinfeld. Gather all yee loved ones 'round the aluminum pole! Practice the feats of strength. Air you most intimate grievances! As Frank Costanza decreed "You gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year." Andrew Ryan of the Globe and Mail pens: "The Airing of Grievances may hurt feelings, but it's a cathartic experience. At least you're being honest and no need to keep it within the family." As legend goes, Frank conceived Festivus decades before, when he went to buy a doll for his son George and wound up brawling with a fellow Christmas shopper. "As I rained blows upon him," said Frank, "I realized there had to be another way!" Frank was so prescient. Festivus was a sound antithesis to runaway consumerism and the general histrionics of the normal holiday season. Festivus required no gifts, no carols, no gaily decorated tree. Instead, a simple metal pole, with no tinsel -- "too distracting." [GlobeAndMail]
Sure, every hot chick in university probably fooled around with another girl, either for experimentation or exhibitionism, but the canoodling between boy and boy has always fell under the hushed whispers of deviance, scandal and less-than-a-man homosexuality. With male physical idealism on media saturation high gear, it's hard (no pun intended) for modern men to not notice the physical attractiveness and appeal of the other lads without fear of being labelled or unjustly outed. With the rise of women in the work force, the insecurities and vanity of men are being preyed upon to the point where perky pecs, perfectly coifed hair with intact hairlines and the right heel are now being queer eyed and mass marketed to the general public. Bryan Quinn of Sit And Spin writes: "Some cultural theorists have postulated that the trends of Gay TV and "metrosexual" fashion signal the fetishization of the male body, and portend the enveloping of the male psyche into the cult of the body which has driven feminine consumerism for decades. What this truly portends, however, is some balls-deep assfucking." Well, here at Abrasion where our mix of contributors range from straight, bisexual, gay to freaking gay, no consensus to that statement could be concorded. However, what we did agree is the absolute, pants down hysteria of Sit and Spin's "Myths vs Reality" of gay male sex. Some choice excerpts:
#2 - It's Not Gay If You're In Prison TRUTH. Just like rape is less an act of sex than it is of power, so gay prison sex is more about status and dominance than actual homosexuality. And hey, should you find yourself having a good time, this doesn't make you any less straight - it's only if you start robbing the 7-11 next to the police station just to get some guilt-free cock that you need to start questioning your identity.
#5 - It's Not Gay If It's With a Spaniard MYTH. This rumor has persisted around Providence, RI for some time, and no one is sure why, as it is completely untrue. It may be more exotic, it may be more fun, there may be a greater likelihood that your partner has not bathed his ass in weeks, but it is by no means less gay.
#7 - It's Not Gay If You're Too Drunk to Drive TRUTH. Most everyone has woken up next to someone whose level of attractiveness barely qualifies as human, and yet we still consider ourselves attractive people; a similar standard is at work when it comes to gayness. The yardstick here is your level of drunkenness - if you are, in the vernacular, a "twelve-beer queer," consider yourself 100% straight. If, however, you are a "two-beer queer," you may as well drop the "two-beer" pretense.
#9 - It's Not Gay If It's With an Animal TRUTH. This, strangely enough, is true. It's really no gayer to fuck a bull in the ass than it is to fuck a cow in the vagina, so feel free to go to town in this case. However, it should be noted that if you suck the bull's cock, it then becomes gay.
#10 - It's Not Gay If There's a Girl Involved TRUTH AND MYTH. This is true, as long as you're on her opposite ends, or at least in different holes. A little congratulatory ass-slapping, even feeling the other guy's wang through the ass/vagina walls is within the acceptable margin, but if he's doing her while you're doing him, your hetero status drops by a few percentage points.
#11 - It's Not Gay If You're Only Doing It to Impress a Girl TRUTH. While admittedly counterintuitive, this is true. Just like you love to watch two girls make out, so do many girls love to watch guys engaged in gay sex (nothing turns a straight girl on like watching two guys do it). Hey brah, anything for some pussy, right? As long as you're in there, you might as well throw your ankles over your head, grab some hairy ass and enjoy yourself.
#12 - It's Not Gay If You're at the Proctologist's TRUTH. Number one, there's a legally binding confidentiality between doctor and patient, so your reputation will stay unsullied. Plus, consider this - the man has his hand up your ass, massaging your prostate - no one's going to blame you for blowing your wad onto the exam table.
#13 - It's Not Gay If You're In the Army TRUTH. This is the ultimate free pass for gay sex. Don't ask, don't tell, sure, but can you show me where they say "don't do?" You can't, because THEY DON'T. You can be as gay as you want, and as long as you're in the Army, it never happened. Go on, Be As Gay As You Can Be! Semper Fi, boys. [Sit and Spin via Fleshbot].
Blame Australia for this latest bad fashion trend swarming the nation like an alien species of locusts on a cabbage patch. Spotted on every celebrity clothes horse here to Williamsburg, the Ugg is as obnoxious as the visible thong on a midriff bearing 14 year old strumpet. Why anyone would wear these in public is beyond fathom, but leave it to Pamela Anderson to turn trailer park, sheep shearling wookie feet into a bonafide faux pas. As described during a rainstorm: "Try keeping up with your friends with two 40-kilogram waterlogged tampons at the end of each leg." Not to mention the smell of wet wool stank.
Freshly plucked from his hidey hole, captured ex-tyrrant Saddam Hussein now has a newly minted action figure. From Yahoo news: '"We got him," advertises Herobuilders.com. "We are thrilled at the fact that we can respond to new world circumstances within 24 hours."' Just in time for the Western infidel observance of material excess we call X-Mas.
In a statement earlier this week, the Canadian Recording Industry Association is looking to begin suing the pants of music uploaders, taking their cue from the legal trigger happy Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). From the National Post, "We've gone through a process, and spent $1-million on a value-of-music education campaign," CRIA head Brian Robertson said. "But the industry continues to be devastated by file sharing. It is regrettable that we'll have to take this action, but we've been forced to." According to CRIA, sales of compact discs in Canada have fallen by $450-million, or 23%, since 1999. According to Abrasion's unofficial monkey analyst, the quality of music recorded onto compact discs has dropped 23% since 1999, citing such ear bleeders as Britney Spears, Chumbawumba, the entire American Idol franchise and Bob Guiney. See a correlation?
Von Bondies singer Jason Stollsteimer looks a tad bit bludgeoned after an alledge bitch slapping by White Stripes singer and fellow Detroiter Jack White. With criminal charges pending, the garage hipsterati seem puzzled by the apparent rift between this once chummy rocker pair as they toured together in their early days. Jason sustained a reported seven punches to the face, apparently one blow for each of the seven nation army. See the Jason's pulp-like puss here.
Mark your calendars Torontonians. Conan O'Brien is invading the city from February 10 to 13, filming Late Night in the T.dot. Conan told reporters, "I want to announce now that if this week goes well in Toronto we are moving the show permanently to Winnipeg." Mike Bullard is no doot quaking in his boots. Did we just say doot? Damn those Americans!
Can it be? The Material Girl going for the Academia Girl? The college drop out, mother of two and rabid Britters kisser has bought her way into the literary world via dumb downed children's books leverage her extraordinary brand recognition. Setting her sights on buying her way into Oxford via her extraordinary brand recognition, the mid-40's teeny bop songstress is voicing her interest in becoming a professor, not fully realizing that a masters degree often preceeds a PhD. "I want to be a teacher. But grade school or high school? No. At the university level? Yes, that is something that I have become more interested in as I've gotten older and matured. It is also something that I think I am more prepared to do." From Yahoo:" Madonna wants to get her PhD in critical literary theory specializing in women's studies, gender and queer theory. She said, "I want to focus my attention primarily on postmodern American and British literature. I consider myself American and British. Multicultural, really." So was that post modern or post ironic? "I want to be more like Judith Butler than like Michel Foucault." Well, she's seems already have the pretensious name dropping down pat... [via The Kicker who also notes a suspicious IP address-- fishy fake anyone?]
Sunday night at the Opera House marked the last show for Hot Hot Heat to support their critics pick record Make Up The Breakdown. Aside from the high energy concert, also featuring supporting bands the Unicorns and the French Kicks, and the bastion of youthful, trucker hat sporting can con hipsters, there are startling similarlities between the band and the Lord of the Rings (re: upcoming release of The Return of the King, shameless plug 100% unintentional). For example, Hot "Hobbit" Heat hail from Victoria, a lush isolated garden paradise of unsurpassed natural beauty. Parallel the Shire, a lush isolated garden paradise of unsurpassed natural beauty. Compare hairstyles: Steve "Baggins" Bays' tussled moppish wavely brown locks to Frodo Baggins' tussled wavey brown locks. Compare diminutive heights of both. Compare the band of four, to the Fellowship of the Ring's four stalwart hobbits. And finally, and perhaps eeriely, the finale song which encouraged a mad bum-rush of crowd surfing and crowd mobbing on to the stage was the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want", which seems apropo to the quest of the ringbearer... spooky, no? Steve Baggins and the Hot Hobbit Heat, you are hot hot heaven.
Courting controversy Paris Hilton style, a new sex tape has been released staring Playdoll of the month, London Holiday-Inn. See the nightvision fully poseable plastic smut here. [via Stereogum]
The US has confirmed the capture of diposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein this morning. Found with US $750K, holed up in a cellar close to his home town of Tikrit, Saddam's identity was confirmed via DNA test. US administrator Paul Bemer states to the people of Iraq: "This is a great day in Iraq's history. For decades, hundreds of thousands of you suffered at the hands of this cruel man. For decades, Saddam Hussein divided you citizens against each other. For decades, he threatened an attack on your neighbours. Those days are over forever. Now it is time to look to the future, to your future of hope, to a future of reconciliation. Now is the time for all Iraqis to build a prosperous, democratic Iraq, at peace with itself and with its neighbours. Iraq's future, your future, has never been more full of hope. The tyrant is a prisoner. The economy is moving forward. You have before you the prospect of a sovereign government in a few months. With the arrest of Saddam Hussein, there is a new opportunity for the members of the former regime to end their bitter opposition. Let them now come forward in a spirit of reconciliation and hope, lay down their arms, and join you, their fellow citizens, in the task of building the new Iraq. Now is the time for all Iraqis - Arabs and Kurds, Sunnis, Shia, Christian and Turkmen - to build a prosperous, democratic Iraq, at peace with itself and with its neighbours." With such bold statements, you'd think Bremer was up for re-election in Iraq, and not just Bush in the US which this capture should help bolster. A healthy air of skepticism is being excercised by CNN, delaying confirmation of Saddam's identity and cautioning that footage of celebration in Baghdad is "close cropped" and may not be indicative of the entire mood of the Iraqi people.
Hysterical satirical website lampooning homophobes and their need to out suspected homosexuals. Our dear, talented and unfortunately targeted Elijah Wood is the goat. Elijah may be straight or he may be gay, but Abrasion doesn't really care. That's his business. But the stupidity and outlandishness of the "evidence" collected is pure self effacing farce. Visit Elijah Wood Is Very, Very Gay and fall in love with that blue eyed sprite no matter what your preference. We did!
Head to google.com, type in "miserable failure", and click "I'm Feeling Lucky". Google, ye speaketh the truth!
No four walls can hold rehab stricken Courtney Love back. Look at my pretty picture says MTV, who also reports on her club hopping to see various LA buzz bands including Hard Place and Let's Go Sailing. Quoth Courtney, "I really need to get laid tonight, but I always have time for a chick band." The singer is awaiting trial on drug charges following an overdose and an arrest for possession in October. Upon exiting, Courtney yelled to her driver "You gotta get me back to [rehab]!" Now come on- would you really charge such a responsible person like that with drug possession?
New York Post reports "Britney Spears is making a habit of throwing up in club bathrooms. Last week, we reported Spears lost her lunch at Lotus. Now, E! reports she also hurled in a Hawaii hotspot. The pop tart and pals had been drinking at Sharky's in Waikoloa the night before Thanksgiving, according to bartender Bill. After several drinks, Spears allegedly ran to the restroom to spew. Spears' rep insists the culprit was Spears' lookalike pal, not the pop tart herself." And all this time, we at Abrasion thought only dictators like Saddam Hussein had decoys...
Abrasion contributor and advertising ace, Miko Sosumi, writes in: "Someone clearly took Renee Zelleweger and replaced her with two Renee Zellwegers. Where once she was frail, thin and aping Lara Flynn Boyle's trapped in a mineshaft without a scrap of food chic, now she's co-opting Drew Barrymore's buxom bombshell bunny look, complete with gargantuan, previously absent breasts. See for your damn self, courtesy of Stereogum."
Activists get bi-annual with the launch of Spacing Magazine. Coined as a Toronto centric version of Adbusters, the billing states: "The Toronto Public Space Committee ( publicspace.ca ) is excited to announce the launch of SPACING, a new 40-page magazine entirely devoted to public space in Toronto. Public space is at the heart of democracy in every city. It's where people interact, discuss, teach, learn, participate, proclaim, and protest. In cities like Toronto, however, public spaces seem to be shrinking. It's from these concerns that the idea to start Spacing sprang to life. Our first issue examines the battle between the public and City Hall over the proposed ban on postering, whether Yonge-Dundas Square meets Jane Jacob's four conditions necessary for a great public square, explores the current state of Toronto's spontaneous public art, and identifies the public space enemies on City Council. The magazine is packed with charming features such as the location of the oldest sidewalk in the city, the hidden gems of green space, and how to travel for 5km almost exclusively in the city's laneways." Don't expect a rate card. More coverage in the Toronto Star here.
Now that Friendster has become so passe, the new sport is to willfully get yourself kicked off Friendster in a blaze of sutle glory. As Abrasion so recently experienced, we were shocked and aghasted by how unuprovoked our Friendster account "suspension" was. So, over the past couple of days, we've been busy like bees compiling tips on how to dance the fine line of getting yourself self-evicted off Friendster. Big Brother Abrams is watching, but how closely? Try these tips:
1) Upload your profile main photo with a pornographic image that does not expose genitals or nipples. Mid-moan, teeth grinding portraiture is suggested as are vaguely discernable pearly necklaces and facials.
2) Outline in the "Who You Want To Meet" section your desire to dabble with individuals of questionable social status. Examples: "Desire to meet of-age but teenage-looking prostitutes for no hold barred hardcore sex. Bleeders preferred." or "Former Soviet Union nuclear bomb technicians willing to relocated to mid-west American heartland. Must enjoy compound living and ethnic cleansing."
3) Write testimonials for all your friends imploring them to "Kill me! Kill me please!"
4) Constantly post multiple bulletin board messages of random endless gibberish and never erase them.
5) Rename yourself Jonathan Abrams, describe yourself as "righteously purging the friendster universe of the fakester scourge" and 'report user' on everyone in your network.
6) Ask a another user for a date.
The mighty hand of Jonathan Abrams has evicted one of the Abrasion flock. No reasons were given and no misconduct was done. Impersonal letter of suspension as follows:
Your Friendster account has been suspended, because it violates
Friendster's Terms of Service.
If you have reviewed the Terms of Service, and do not believe your
account is in violation, please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org,
and include the following information:
First name: XXXXXX
Last name: XXXXXX
ID #: XXXX
We will review your account, and re-instate it if it has been
Friendster Customer Service
While under demolition, the Uptown theatre has collapsed, damaging adjacent buildings and trapping 5 people inside. Originally opened in 1960, the Uptown theatre has been fixture in the Toronto film scene at the busy intersection of Yonge and Bloor, including a regular venue for the Toronto International Film Festival. According to Canada.com, the Uptown was considered one of the most historical theatres in Toronto and was the subject of an unsuccessful capaign to stop its demolition.
Flatulence as communication? Canadian and British scientists are researching the notion with herring fish. "The fish tend to make noise more often when in the company of others, which suggests it plays a social role, the researchers say. The fish may also produce the sounds to ward off predators." So the ultimate question: Is a Dutch Oven a social sign of affection or a defensing mechanism to send a partner reeling from the bedroom?
The phenom of iPod jacking is still a foreign and intrusive proposition in New York. iPod jacking, is the mutual ritual of inserting one's earphones into another's iPod and briefly exchanging musical experiences. "It's almost like you're being a DJ for the other person.... It's very gratifying if you see someone dancing around to the music you're listening to. It's a great feeling to see other people enjoying your music, and my tastes are fairly bizarre." Making the imposition to a fellow iPoddian on a crisp afternoon in Soho sent the approachee recoiling like a scalding McDonalds coffee off an elderly woman's lap. Don't even bother in Toronto, as the iPod lacks the unbiquity it enjoys within Manhattanite geek / chic / hipsterati circles. Just like the trucker hat, try again nine months later.
Internet squeal Matt Drudge, godbless em, reports Eminem takes on the pop vs politics challenge and throws spit and peroxide blonde fury against President Bush. From the Drudge Report: "On the track WE AS AMERICANS, obtained by DRUDGE, the nation's top selling rapper shockingly rants: 'F**k money. I don't rap for dead presidents. I'd rather see the president dead. It's never been said, but I set precedents and the standards and they can't stand it... We as Americans. Us as a citizen. We've got to protect ourselves'... " Abrasion notes Eminem's progressive lyrical knife fighting has graduated from ex-wife to Moby to Michael Jackson to Dubya. Who's next?
Abrasion has been a huge proponent of buying music to support our musician friends, even though major record labels have been gouging consumers with insane mark-ups. Nonetheless, who hasn't gotten on the online fileshare bandwagon? It's very de rigeur. But now we know, it's not sharing. It's stealing. Fortunate the soul saving folks at SendThemBack.org have provided an easy to follow guide to eliviating your guilty mp3 stealing heart. From the billing: "We knew stealing that music was wrong. Stealing is never OK. But, it was just too easy. So we told ourselves we were just "sharing" the music, because everyone knows that sharing is a good thing. But then we learned what we were really doing. We heard our favorite recording artists telling us that our "sharing" is really shoplifting and piracy. We were stealing from the musicians and singers we love! That was when we looked at each other and said: "No more! It's time to make it right by giving back what we stole!" And that's just what we did! We sent back all the MP3's we'd illegally downloaded. Everyone one of them! Won't you join us in sending them back? Send them back! Right back to the Recording Industry of America Association, the industry association that helps our favorite artists keep on making the music we love. Send them back! We did...and we feel great!" Learn how to "Send Them Back here!!"
Exacting Vengeance On Pop Culture, Daily Since 2003
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