The year in pictures, part two.

Almost there. Not quite yet though…

But, man, what a frustrating year.

I felt like Tyler Coates‘ picture here summed up what my attitude was going into this year. And what all of our attitudes should’ve been. As it always should be.

And now Alec Baldwin sums up how I felt about this year.

Though this year has brought some things that I desperately wanted to see.

Or never thought I would see (all together in the same club).

Or things that I would be okay never seeing again.

And some things, things from my childhood, came to an end.

Some things, I think, I realized I was glad to see go.

And it really hit me in this past year that some things will not last forever.

And some of those things are through. Professionally, I mean.

Oh well. Shit happens. Things come. And things go.

And they keep going.

It’s all about perspective.

Isn’t that what they say?

This was the year of hope.

This was the year of rejections.

This was the year of saying that you wanted a revolution.

And it was also the year where you said, “Could you try not to rub your beard up against my forest of tears?”

It was about new things.

And new things to regret (in the morning)(probably)(but hopefully not).

It was, for me, the year I just accepted the often hellish, nonstop barrage of celebrity bullshit.

…Especially in the face of weird hookups that I just can’t condone.

And seeing things I loved shat upon.

But these things happen.

We hold onto the good.

And let go of the bad.

Time to dust yourself off.

Maybe you’ve learned some things. About life, the world, and yourself.

And made some decisions.

And had some fun.

But just remember…

It’s easy to ride off into the sunset.

It’s hard to still be there when the sun rises. But that’s where the true excitement and the fun lay.

Hopefully we’ll see you there.

from here.

Wave/particle duality.

from here.

Today is Judgment Day!

Suicidal planet on a death spiral with star.

That upcoming posthumous Michael Crichton book is about pirates and is entitled Pirate Latitudes. And Steven Spielberg wants to make a movie out of it.

Is House actually science fiction?

The monster with 21 faces.

DNA swap could cure inherited diseases.

The porn of Franz Kafka.

Futurama porn.

Watching robots kiss is actually really fucking creepy:

Am I right?

That beautiful place where peep shows and love hotels meet.

Please don’t feed the gorillas pop tarts.

Child bride’s nightmare after divorce.

I’m happy because I’m stupid, scared of spiders, scared of flies.”

“Physicists use the wave theory on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and the particle theory on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.”

-William Henry Bragg, quoted in the Dictionary Of Scientific Quotations.

Robot doppelganger!

An android is a robot designed to appear as a male, while a gynoid is a robot designed to appear as a female.

Robots can carry out conversations and even sing.

Is human space travel actually feasible?

I hope that when I’m dead, my friends/family/enemies don’t find out via twitter.

The trailer to Christopher Nolan’s Inception looks mind blowingly awesome. Set within “the architecture of the mind,” huh? With that and Lost, can it be 2010 already?

“Toast always lands buttered-side down, and a cat always lands feet first. I propose we strap buttered toast to the back of a cat; the two will hover, spinning inches from the ground. With a giant buttered-toast/cat array, a hovering monorail could easily link New York with Chicago.”

-Jon Frazee, from the Journal Of Irreproducible Results.

from here.

Wave-particle duality.

Lorrie Moore, as reviewed by Jonathan Lethem.

Reading Rainbow is over. That’s seriously depressing. I loved that show. And even more depressing is that it’s ending partially because of funding, of course, but also because of George W. Bush. The “why to read” is just as important as the “how to read,” kids.

Speaking of which: The 61 essential post modern reads. How many have you read?

The future of reading: Read what you like.

Reading is sexy.

Every month is February in my calendar.

Editor’s note: Conrad is a good friend of mine that I’ve been trying to sweet talk/badger into doing something for Counterforce for quite a while now. And he’s been dangling the prospect of doing a post on Sonic Youth in front of me for just as long, but then out of nowhere, he sent me this. I’m not complaining and it’s a pleasure to have him with us.

-Marco Sparks.

THE GREATEST HITS OF BLACK PEOPLE IN THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY!

i.e. as long as I’ve been alive.

(This is by no means meant to be an all encompassing list.)

(Nor an all too serious list, or one that had a lot of thought go into it.)

(So no Ben Carson or Al Sharpton, or Maya Angelou, or anyone like that, though they’re all very important people. Just remember: Black people can do anything you can do, maybe better, maybe not better, but with rhythm.)

All right, all right, give yourself a little break from reading about time travel robots and Lost all the time and let’s just fucking do this:

Michael Jackson. The alpha and the omega. Our savior and… sigh… our greatest let down. It’s easy to think of him as a freak now, because he’s kind of turned himself into one, but you know that he was just fucking awesome back in the day. Like when he performed at the Super Bowl, and he started popping up all over the place, Prestige-style, man, I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. It didn’t dawn on me til later that he had doubles (and I say that Saddam Hussein got the doubles idea from the King of Pop).

The Cosby Show. Don’t front on this: The show was awesome, and you know you wanted this to be your family. Everyone did. In fact, just thinking about it has me craving a Jello pudding pop and wanting to go watch Angel Heart again. Plus, a woman once offered me sex because she said I reminded her of Theo.

Eddie Murphy. For fucking serious. Back in the 80s, every black man either looked like this cat, or wanted to. Or they looked like Bobby Brown. That shit was tight.

Professor X & Magneto. I’m a big fan of celebrating our differences and our individual unique whateverness, but I also feel that we need a certain level of colorblindness in the way we deal with the world and people, so that’s why I dig how these X-Men characters can summarize the MLK/Malcolm X debate for just about anyone, especially using a superbrain and raw magnetism.

Philip Bailey and Phil Collins “Easy Lover”

This is great for black people, but it’s just as big a hit for white people as well. Everybody needs all the elements, you know what I’m saying? Everybody needs Earth, Wind & Fire.

I remember this song from my youth but rediscovered it in the last few years thanks to Marco Sparks forcing excessive amounts of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins down my fucking throat the last few years.  And he has a point, I slowly discovered. Pre-Disney Phil Collins was an angry and passionate man, sometimes baring his male pattern baldness and soul for us good people. I think he’s well regarded in quite a few hip hop circles these days. And he’s one of the coolest cats to duet with a black man since Paul McCartney, probably. But more so.

Robert Townsend. This man is a talented actor, writer, comedian, and director, and his film, Hollywood Shuffle, not only exposes the hardships of black actors and the cliches they’d have to deal with it, but it’s fucking hilarious. Plus, he wrote for Eddie Murphy and is responsible (along with Keenan Ivory Wayans, who co-wrote Hollywood Shuffle) for getting jobs for a lot of the prominent black actors working today.

Incognegro by Mat Johnson. This is just an amazing graphic novel about a black reporter who can pass for a white man who goes undercover to investigate and write about lynchings in the South in the 1930s. Everything about it is perfect, but especially how it deals with the fact that so much of what we consider racial problems is problems with class and identity.

Oran “Juice” Jones “I Saw You And Him Walking In The Rain

I gave you things you couldn’t even pronounce! Here’s some trashy white kids doing an almost shot for shot remake of the video:

It’s safe to say that The Juice ended up being a one hit wonder because, like OJ, he just scared the fuck out of people.

Samuel L. Jackson. Does this even need to be explained? This man is straight versatility. He’s a great actor, but he’ll do just about anything for a paycheck, it seems. Which means he’ll be in a lot of shit movies, but then at the same time, he’ll call up people like George Lucas and do some Force mojo on him and say, “You will put me in your new Star Wars trilogy,” and it happens. Or, “You will make me the new Nick Fury,” and it fucking happens.

Soul Glo! If you know, then you know. You know?

The little sister on Family Matters. Not a greatest hit at all, but just me using this forum to ask where the hell did this girl go? She went upstairs and apparently got swallowed up in a TGIF vortex of some sort Cthulhu-like cathode ray obscurity. And you know where that vortex spits you out? Porn, that’s where.

Prince. Let’s not even pretend I have to explain myself here.

But I will say that I used to have the purple vinyl edition of Purple Rain when I was a kid, and when my brother broke that, I almost threw his ass out of the family. And out of a window.

Aaron McGruder, creator of the Boondocks cartoon strip and cartoon, a constant source of not just excellent entertainment, but also some serious real talk.

Tupac Shakur. The other day, in conversation, Marco says to me, “Tupac is totally one of the most underrated rappers of all time.” I shook my head in exasperation (something I do frequently when dealing with him and said, “First of all, that’s like saying, ‘Gee wilikers, water sure is wet,’ and secondly…”

Right?

I mean… Right!?

Race relations. Can’t we all just get along? I think the answer is yes, with some cooperation, some communication, and some understanding and accepting. Laser guns can only help this equation.

Wu-Tang Clan. This is who I’d rather talk about than Tupac. In addition to being nothing to fuck with, I’d use two words to describe this group: Universal. Ill. That’s all that’s necessary.

The Black Kids “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You”

So real. So true. This isn’t Save The Last Dance. I don’t know you. I don’t know your boyfriend. I’ll teach him how to lose his girlfriend but I’m not going to teach him how to move it right. And why are you assuming that I know how to move it right? I mean, I do, but…

In reality, the band’s got a great name, but I find them excessively cheesy.

Yes We Can!

Fuck yeah, we can. You, me, everyone.

All right, I said way too much here. I may do another installment of this, perhaps a more serious one, perhaps even more ridiculous than this one, but if you have any questions…

And don’t go getting a big head.

Conrad Noir loves you all. He lives in the South and can’t wait to get out of there, and does the tumblr thing right here, but only sometimes.