by bicyclemark 3 Comments

Somewhere on the net… you knew there had to be a blog called McBlog, altogether it doesn’t look that interesting. What is interesting is that I finally saw Supersize Me last night (remember I live in the cinema-third world called Europe where films arrive by row-boat)Allow me to reflect, if you will, on my cinema-going documentary-viewing experience:

Though I don’t get to the cinema often, I feel this documentary is the best of the year. Surpassing F-911, and that’s not a knock against Michael Moore – I refuse to join that whole trend of Moore-baiting. I just felt it was clear, informative, entertaining, relatively empirical, and shit… who didn’t worry about his health as the month slowly went by. But there is one factor is this film that I feel deserves the utmost attention: The branding of children in schools; getting them while they’re young. If I ran a country, besides having the most unproductive and lazy economy ever, marketing to children would be considered a heinous crime.

I can remember, as alot of you might, my high school experience in the mecca of suburbia= Union, NJ. I recall comparing schools and almost gloating that Union High had Burger King Food, a Shop Rite (supermarket), and a Bank (Union Center). For whatever reason, it seemed cool because we loved such brands. Now I shudder to think about the side-effects and implications. I can also remember visiting, I think, Brick High School (NJ) and everywhere I walked having a Coca-Cola advert in my face. When I think about all those struggling schools with financial and “test-result” troubles, it angers me to think how companies sneak in offering money or textbooks in exchange for some good clean product placement. Come to think of it, I also remember those bastards who provided grade-X food at the University Dining hall at WPU.(they’re in the film too)

Apparently the director and star of the film has a similar concern, he wants to get the film shown at every school somehow. I hope teachers will make it a priority to not just show the film, but really discuss and examine the issue to better-equip our little future consumers.

incidentally he – Morgan Spurlock – keeps an outstanding blog complete with RSS feed. Today I read about his experience in Finland – hilarious, my Finnish readers (hi guys!) might especially enjoy since it involves drinking, saunas, and nakedness.

Next post I’ll be officially moved in, with all new graphics and colors, and ready to tear-into the RNC in NYC. It has begun, and now more than ever- I wish I was in NYC cause I’d walk all over their grass alongside a million people who think its insulting to have this convention in NYC. Here’s the Moblog from where I follow the action.(recall my past post about NYC as sacred ground)

Oh yeah- I will also have to talk about the Olympic Medal Count as a reflection of global economics. Hmmmm.

Today’s Music: Coheed and Cambria mix with Taking Back Sunday (since the show is tonight)

You Feel Sick?

by bicyclemark 2 Comments

As soon as the reports came out, I decided it was my responsibility as a blogger, a slash-American, and a human on this earth, to analyze the Health and Poverty statistics from the US Census Bureau. For what we should always remember is that what happens in the US has effects the world-over.

So lets take a net-trip together, shall we, to the lovely US Census Bureau. Come’on, it could be fun, besides, they’re celebrating “10 years on the web” which is just a year behind me. While we’re out, it could be wise to stop by the Kaiser Family Foundation which has nothing to do with World War 1, but instead, handles health statistics.

Basically it breaks down like this:

– 45 million people in the US are without health insurance, including yours truely (though I’m in exile) Thats 2 million more people from 2002 to 2003. So that’s 15% of the population. How insane is that? If I, an uninsured blogger, get eastern-feasle disease, I won’t go to hospital until I’m pretty much dead because I can’t afford it. And in the process of dying, I’m sure to cough and sneeze and spread the feasle spores to a couple of thousand people. You follow me here? OK let me stop the rumors right now, I don’t have such a virus… and I confess.. I made it up. But I had a point!

More stats for thought:

-8.4 million children had no insurance in 2003, and those are not short-term situations.

-33% of all Black and Asian Americans are without insurance. Equality here we come!

The rest I leave up to you to read and evaluate. Oh yeah and the worst state-with the highest amount of uninsured- Texas. Nevermind that they’re on the border, they should have had a proper plan, long ago, for those circumstances. This is not my attempt at a campaign message, both of the siamese American political parties have created this situation, along with a public that has been too quiet about it. If any time were ever good for getting mad, now would be good.

If you want more busblog, in between great photo essays, takes a bite into poverty statistics as well. Then there’s buzzmachine’s buzzing.

I’m interested in Dave Chapelle’s plan – “Fake Canadian ID’s for ALL AMERICANS.” There’s a candidate I’d vote for.

Today’s Music: Michael Franti + Spearhead – Everyone Deserves Music (for all the good people demonstratin this week!)

Korean-American Slapstick

by bicyclemark 1 Comment

Any day now an academic gold nugget is going to fly out of my brain relating to blogs, personal publishing, and power-relations. That nugget will lead me on my renewed quest for PhD, and any egghead that stands in my way will feel the wrath of my passive-aggressive internet hatred. Now I just need a supervisor and a university, any takers out there, please comment below. My primary desire is to stay in fair Amsterdam, but if you’re persuasive.. I am not averse to being persueded. Also I don’t have much in terms of morals, so if you’d like to tempt me with material things, I’m listening.

One skill I know I have, and would venture to say many out there have is diplomacy. Defined by that midget webster’s dictionary:

Main Entry: di?plo?ma?cy

Pronunciation: d&-‘plO-m&-sE

Function: noun

1 : the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations

2 : skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility : TACT

I’m referring specifically to definition two when I point out two comedians that have absolutely no diplomacy skills and somehow that is their job: GW Bush and Kim Jong-Il. This morning’s FT described a little catfight of words these two have been having:

-W Bush: “He’s a tyrant!” (referring to the N. Korean Leader)

-Jong-Il: “He’s a imbecile,an idiot and a man-killer.” (Referring to Bush)

-Bush once said he “loathed” Jong-Il.

-Jong-Il responded recently that Bush is “a political imbecile bereft of even elementary morality as a human being and a bad guy.”

These are world leaders? Neither elected, it’s worth noting. And furthermore both heirs to their fathers’ political dynasties. No wonder they have such a special way to speak to each other. But nevermind all that, it should be a basic job requirement: Don’t be an insulting bastard towards other leaders. Clearly they both absolutely suck at being diplomats, but maaaan are they entertaining.

Tom Tomorrow’s guestblogger type-person – Bob Harris- testifies to exactly one of the side-effects of having such unqualified leaders. Apparently Bob is in Olympiakos land and he’s been watching undercover as a New Zealander. I love a country who’s team colors are all-black. They even call the rugby team the “all-blacks.” But I digress, Bob had heard lots of boo’s for the US and blogs about the negative receptions US folk are getting in Athens and the possible reasons behind it.

Today’s Music: Frou Frou – Details

Aussie Fun in the name of Film

-The Loud Mouth American Guy.- Thats the role I’ve been casted for. Two of the loveliest and craziest Aussie girls I’ve ever known are making a film entitled “New Amsterdam” and apparently they thought of me immediately for this specific role. Image that – me as a loud mouth American? hmf. I guess I’ll have to “act”. The movie is about, among other things, studying or working in a foreign country and all those feelings of “did I do what I came to do?” or “who am I?” that can haunt a person. It reminds me of L’Auberge Espa?ol and what I’ve heard about Lost in Translation. If any city deserves to be the backdrop of such a film, this one does.

Staying on the topic of films, which I don’t do very often, Snoopy pointed my attention to the film “Garden State” which folks in North America are probably quite familiar with. I knew nothing of this film accept that it has the nickname of my homestate, so it must be interesting. I also ran into the director’s blog, which I didn’t think too much of. But after seeing the trailer and browsing the site, I’m both madly in love with Natalie Portman – again – and I need to see this film. It also makes me, admittedly, nostalgic for NJ. Usually I say that the only thing I miss about the US are my friends, but every now and again, I miss certain places as well. Like Trader Joe’s!

Since I’m actually linking topics today, instead of the usual three-to-four random paragraphs, I wanted to add something to the info already shared about the Gov. McGreevey troubles. According to the LA Weekly’s Doug Ireland: Jim’s lover had been appointed terrorism tzar and was paid over 100,000$ a year! Also he’s an Israeli citizen, not that that means anything, but its odd to hear terrorism-tzar and Isreali citizen in the same sentence.. isn’t it? Perhaps no. But I’m still left with many questions, like: If you’re terrorism tzar, do you have a choice to wear a crown? Or is it obligatory? OR is it not a crown at all, but more of a modern monarchy SASH system. Hmmmm. Here’s a future terrorism tzar, Crazy Dr. M, who’s considering making his home in NJ:

Elsewear in NJ, TPB Esq. is still at the fair with his Lomo. I have a Lomo which I shamefully neglect in the bottom drawer where I keep extra batteries and latex gloves. Only now do I notice what a weird combination they are. I assure you they look fine together in a drawer.

Today’s Music: Francis Cabrel – Les Beaux Deg?ts