Amoeblog

List of Music heard during the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony

Posted by Job O Brother, July 31, 2012 11:18am | Post a Comment


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Cruise to Mexico: Part 5

Posted by Job O Brother, November 8, 2010 12:58pm | Post a Comment

Okay.


Day 4

Wednesday. September 15, 2010

MAZATLÁN


I awoke to a beautiful view of balmy, tropical islands along the starboard side of the ship. It proved the perfect backdrop to my morning coffee and obsessive playing of Scrabble on my iPhone.

“I wonder what the poor people are doing?” I mused to myself, thrilled at having played the word adz on a triple word score.

This question was answered when I ventured to the ship’s port side, which revealed a congested, smoldering-oil-scented labyrinth of tarnished industrial structures. The smog was enough to make L.A. seem like a beach on Oahu.

“Oh!” I said.


YOU WERE HERE

We had docked at Mazatlán. While the sight of such a gritty urban landscape was intimidating and caused one to question whether the most “green” thing to do was simply encourage the extinction of the human race, I was hopeful. As stated before, I’m a poor audience for the show of safe, tourist-friendly spectacles cruises contrive, and seeing some real estate that was teeming with real people (sorry, employees of Cabo Wabo) made me eager to disembark and explore.

Furthermore, I had a goal. I wanted to rendezvous with saucy barmaid extraordinaire, Spice, whom the boyfriend and I had chatted up at one of the many bars. She had promised, if I found her at the “old marketplace” to reveal unto me the secrets of making Oil Down, and I wanted to hang out with her and the ship’s staff out of their work environment, where they could treat me sincerely without fear of being locked into the dungeon I’m certain must be hidden on the bottom level of those cruise ships (it’s just past the roller-coaster, past the sperm whale holding tank, to the left of the secret blood diamond mine/Mai Tai cabaña).

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(In which we consider Michael Ian Black.)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 2, 2009 06:17pm | Post a Comment

Michael Ian Black

Lately I’ve been listening to and watching a lot of Michael Ian Black. So when the Amoegods* let it be known that we Amoebloggers might consider posting some musings celebrating Black History Month, I thought, “How fortuitous!” For nothing says Black History Month more than uproarious comic Michael Ian Black.

Like most people who are exactly like me, my introduction to Mr. Black came in the form of beloved sketch comedy show The State. Because Mtv is run by terrorists who hate America, however, you younger generations haven’t been able to enjoy The State on DVD, but must settle for choppy YouTube clips like the one below, in which the aforementioned Mr. Black plays the concerned home-owner.


Most fans of The State carry with them a sense of desperation and compulsion to seek out any projects to which a former The State cast member signs his or her name to (i.e., Reno 911, The Ten, the Oklahoma City bombing, etc.). This blog entry isn’t for them, because I’m going to showcase things they already know. If you qualify as a fan of The State, why not click on this link and enjoy reading this instead

Now that we’ve gotten rid of those losers, let’s you and I learn a little more about Michael Ian Black and his contributions to comedy. Take notes and pay close attention, because I’m not going to repeat myself and you’re never to read this post again.


The Congress of Vienna. The Marquis of Labrador is seated at the round table,
third from the right of the diplomats who are seated.


Drawing of breadfruit by Sydney Parkinson

According to my research, Michael Ian Black was born. Some time later he joined things and went on to succeed with stuff. In addition to his role as McKinley in the film Wet Hot American Summer, he hosted VH1’s television program, I Love the 70’s (and subsequent spin-offs), though he has later reported that he was forced into doing this at gunpoint by his abusive husband, Chuck Traynor.

Mr. Black would later join forces with fellow The State cast members Michael Showalter (pronounced Showalter) and David Wain to form the comedy troupe STELLA, named after 1932 Olympic Gold Medal winning athlete, Stella Walsh, who’s name was actually Stanisława Walasiewicz, who, though a hermaphrodite, was to one day ignore the rest of this paragraph and move on to the next one.

Stay with me here. As I said before, I’m not going to repeat myself. And I don’t wanna hurt you. Don’t make me hurt you.


Some time after 2004 (but before 2006) Comedy Central broadcasted a half-hour sitcom version of STELLA, which, sadly, lasted only one season before it contracted cholera and died – just one of many eerie coincidences linking STELLA with eleventh President of the United States, James K. Polk. (Indeed, some conspiracy theorists conclude that STELLA is still rightfully the Commander-in-Chief of, if not the entire U.S., at least Nebraska.)


Something else you may want to exchange money for at your local Amoeba Music is Mr. Black’s compact disc, I Am A Wonderful Man, on which you may delight in recordings of his stand-up comedy routine in the English language.

But of course the most interesting fact about Mr. Black is not his celebrity, not his collection of hobbies, nor his marriage to Sarah Childress or his part in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; rather, it is his uncanny resemblance to my boyfriend, Corey. But that plays no part in my liking Michael Ian Black – though it does explain why I did once mistakenly fellate him at the Golden Globes a few years back.


My boyfriend, Corey Scholibo

Once you learn about the contributions Mr. Black has made, it becomes clear that his name should and must be included when considering the tremendously positive role of Black America. Thank you for your time, and God bless.

*That’s a term I just coined to describe the ruling class of Amoeba Music. I plan on copyrighting it, so don’t use it without sending me money. I think a nickel per usage is fair until further notice.

East Turkestan / Xinjiang/ Uyghurstan/ شىنجاڭ

Posted by Eric Brightwell, April 10, 2008 06:58pm | Post a Comment


East Turkestan is the English name for an occasionally independent region occupied by China since it invaded in 1949. In Manchu Chinese it is known as Xinjiang, which means "new frontier", a phrase which belies its extrinsic nature to China. For the Turkic peoples that live beyond this "new frontier", the country is known as "Sharqi Turkistan" which translates to "Eastern Land of the Turks." The country is largely desert with towns built around oasises that were, in ancient times, important stops on the Silk Road.


The population of the region is mainly made up of Turkic peoples, the largest group being the Uyghurs (less commonly spelled Uighur, Uighur, Uygur or Uigu). Most Uyghurs feel more culturally aligned with their Turkic brethren to the West than the Beijing goverment of the East which currently controls the region. However, as with Tibet, China is attempting to dilute the region's culture and ethnicity by inundating it with Han immigrants lured by economic incentives and an apartheid system that favors them over the indigenous population. In 1949, when China invaded, the region was 75% Uyghur. As of 2003 it had been diluted to 45%. Ironically, identity in the region was largely based on the particular oasis communities and a strong coalescence based on a common, Turkic identity only really began in response to Chinese repression and occupation.

Under the Chinese occupation, China enjoys access to East Turkestan's substantial natural resources and vast space. Nuclear weapons testing was conducted there from the 60s to the 90s. In return, the Uyghurs get little. The areas where they are the majority remain comparatively under-developed. It has the highest HIV rate in China. Mandarin is compulsory in schools. Men who work in the government sector aren't allowed to wear beards and women are denied to right to wear head scarves. Only those over 18 are allowed to attend mosques, which are controlled by the Chinese government- who only allow a state-approved version of the Qu'ran. As with neighboring Tibet (and similarly oppressed Inner Mongolia), China argues that East Turkestan is an integral part of the country even though they somehow prospered for thousands of years without it. China, no doubt, made the same arguments about Mongolia (which was occupied by China from 1691-1911) but they seem to be coping rather well with that country's independence.

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