February 24, 2003

norah jones: relatively on top of the world

Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and Best Pop Vocal Album. Jones is so much in favor right now that even her producer and studio engineers received grammys. This phenomenon begs the question: Why?

As a musician, performer, and visual attraction, Norah Jones is good. She's probably even great. But is she worth 8 grammys? Even she was shocked -- every time she walked up to give her 6 acceptance speeches. Apparently Norah can do no wrong, beating out the likes of Eminem, the Dixie Chicks, Bruce Springsteen, Avril Lavigne, John Mayer, Vanessa Carlton, Michelle Branch, Ashanti, Sheryl Crow, Pink, Britney Spears, and No Doubt, to name a few -- winning every single category she was nominated for.

The explanation is simple: In a music industry that is currently devoid of "new" talented musicians, Norah Jones is relatively on top of the world. This is a strangely depressing statement that currently defines reality. Is Norah Jones more talented than all of the artists she was up against? Probably not. Is the population so thirsty for some new talent worth three-quarters of a shit that they will practically assault anyone qualified? If Sunday is any indication, the answer is yes.

First and foremost, Jones is a singer. A second look reveals a trained pianist. Songwriting, however, does not appear to be her forte -- Norah wrote only 2 of the 14 songs on her debut album. This, the performer that does not write their own material, is a common and easy criticism of manufacturered singer groups (the backstreet boys and the spice girls, for example). But no such criticism is voiced of Norah. Apparently this is an easily forgettable sin, if listeners are actually convinced the performer is any good.

Norah Jones' tremendous success once again illustrates a truism of popular music: If you sing it well, they will come. For any given song and any given group, the population as a whole is primarily focused on one person: The singer. All other factors are subordinate. Splash some skilled piano playing and slick producing on top of a talented voice, and you are only adding icing to the cake.

Perhaps this landslide will bring about some realization. But it is far more likely to just cause overexposure, a sour taste left behind by a candy that was supposed to taste good.


Posted by eviljack at 11:50 PM

February 22, 2003

pfizer killed john belushi

John Belushi was 33 when he died in bungalow #3 at the Chateau-Marmont Hotel on March 5th, 1982. He had visited the Roxy nightclub with Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams earlier that evening. His death was ruled as an accidental overdose of a heroin/cocaine mixture known as a speedball.

One of the most common methods of distributing heroin alone is a form known as "black-tar". Heroin users cook portions of these black tar-like balls in a spoon that is bent to sit level on a table. The tar is liquified as it cooks. Once it is fully melted, it is ready for mainlining.

The liquid is transferred to a syringe for injection. The most accessible and common injection points are the veins on the inner arms by the elbows - the same veins that doctors will typically select for drawing blood. Effects of mainlining begin 8 seconds after injecting into the ditch.

Heroin is one of the most physically and psychologically addictive drugs on earth. Users usually turn into addicts. Addicts may shoot up several times a day, if they can afford it. As a byproduct of slamming the same vein repeatedly, visibile tracks will form on the arm. Eventually these veins will collapse and be unusable, at which point addicts move on to veins in the back of the hands, behind the knees, or, if left no other option, the jugular vein in the neck.

Like most drugs in the United States, heroin production and distribution is illegal and unregulated. The result is a dangerous street trade that serves as the primary source of heroin for most addicts. Due to tremendous variation in the production and distribution of heroin, there can be a wide and inconsistent range of potency. Street heroin is also usually cut with other unknown substances (e.g. sugar, starch, strychnine, or other less expensive drugs) that may alter the effect. For these reasons, it is impossible to know the potency of any purchased heroin without using it.

This is the primary cause of heroin overdose. Addiction forces users to increase frequency and quantity, but it is the unreglated market that causes users to accidentally take fatal amounts. This led to the untimely deaths of a slew of names in the entertainment idustry, such as Layne Staley, John Belushi, Janis Joplin, Rivers Phoenix, Bradley Nowell, Charlie Parker, and Jonathan Melvion.

Now consider a world where the heroin market is regulated by the FDA. Pfizer would research cost-effective methods for producing and distributing heroin that are optimized for retaining and delivering consistent potency. They would make up a fancy non-word to brand their particular flavor (e.g. "Heroitia", pronounced "hair-o-ee-shuh"). And most importantly, they would sell Heroitia over the counter, with no unknown substances in the cut, delivering a consistent, low-cost method for obtaining and using heroin.

The result may or may not be an increase in heroin usage -- there are already at least 2.5 million people that have used heroin in this country alone. However, regulation would put an end to accidental overdoses. And as the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, Pfizer has an obligation to do this service for society. Pfizer has failed to fulfil this obligation for years now, resulting in the deaths of John Belushi and countless others. With $48 billion in annual revenue and $9.2 billion in profits, Pfizer has sufficient funds to lobby our government for the rights to create a safe heroin market.

Because I have a dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all heroin tar-balls are created equal."

I have a dream that one day, on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former smack addicts will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom, justice, and regulated speedballs.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not judge heroin by the color of its cut, but by the indicated potency stated on a bubble packaging that is sealed for their protection.

I have a dream today.


Posted by eviljack at 02:08 AM

February 13, 2003


Read the G-double-O-G-L-E informative shiznit. See President Big Baby Bush in action. Find out how Microshizzle works helps yo' ass shop smart online.

Courtesy of possibly the greatest website ever: The Shizzolator.

Thank god for the internet. (And thanks chizang)


Posted by eviljack at 11:47 AM

February 10, 2003

i got jesus fish'd.

i'm driving to work really late again, and another damn soccermom cuts me off with her minivan, and - bam - i got jesus fish'd.

first off, all you goddamn soccermom's in your minivans (or RX300's, gold-diggers) - i'll leave that for another rant.

my focus right now is on the little metal "jesus fish" decals that are seen all over the road these days. seriously, let's walk through this one.

i'm a redneck who drives a beat up F-150. i have a turn signal, but i don't use it because i can't remember whether "up" means "left" or "right". i keep the double-barrel shotgun in the back of my truck loaded in case i see a deer on the side of the road. i drive my inbred coustin-wife to the supermarket twice a week so she can pick up more vagisil.

i'm a 40-year old single woman. i weigh 300lbs because i can't keep my damn fingers off the hot pockets. i drive my 1985 mercury grand marquis to taco bell at least 12 times a week. my hair has the consistency of crisco. the interior of my car smells like chicken fat. my cat pissed on my carpet once, so i ate it.

i'm a soccermom. when i was 18, i went on a 4-year husband shopping spree at Texas A&M University. i married into money when i was 20, and dropped out of school immediately so i could start cleaning his toilet. before driving my 3 kids to soccer practice every sunday in my 1995 dodge caravan, i make sure we spend the morning at church. i also cheat on my husband, snort coke, and publish nude pictures of myself on the internet. my favorite band is still hootie & the blowfish.

(ok, i lied about saving the soccermom rant.)

what do these three people have in common? at one point, each of these people went through the following 14-step thought process:

1) do i have any opinions of my own?
2) hmm, i think i like jesus.
3) yes! jesus good.
4) i can't believe i just formed my own opinion.
5) now that i have an opinion, god says i should force it on the rest of the world.
6) how do i tell people about my love for jesus?
7) don't fish have something to do with jesus?
8) yes, of course - i believe in jesus, and i smell like fish!
9) i need to get a fish.
10) but where can i find an audience for my fish?
11) my audience needs to be sitting down.
12) and literate.
13) and able to read.
14) hmm.. where can i find an audience that is sitting, and - ah HA!

and then it dawned on them: put the fish on the ass of your car. yes, the ass of your car, where so many other fine reading materials -- like, your license plate -- have pleased your captive audiences so many times in the past.

well, i wouldn't want all you jesus-fish'ers to feel left out. next time you see my car cut you off, I hope you enjoy viewing my own fine selection of literature:






Posted by eviljack at 11:52 PM