30 April 2007

When you look into the tightness, the tightness also looks into you

Every so often you come into contact with a web page that singlehandedly justifies the whole of the Internets. "The Nietzsche Family Circus," which pairs a random Family Circus panel with a random Nietzsche quote, is just such a page, and a paragon of tightness. I could spend hours hitting refresh on this baby. So far, this is my favorite result:

After the old god has been assassinated,
I am ready to rule the world.

27 April 2007

A Turn of the Screw

While I generally advocate for satire as the path to tightness, today I have nothing but dumb disbelief for Rush Limbaugh's failings as a member of society, manifested daily by airing things like this:

(Via Radar and Best Week Ever and Media Bistro, set to a song parody by "conservative political satirist" Paul Shanklin, based on this piece in the L.A. Times)

I would offer here a harsh ear-boxing "Tighten Up" to Rush and this Shanklin fellow, but I suspect their oily skins prevent any rational thought from entering. So I say we just tighten the front locks to whatever pit of evil Rush calls home and let him do his Pulitzer Prize-worthy work in isolation.

25 April 2007

Get Rich Quick: Home Inventory Business

Really? Really? I call shenanigans. People are actually buying these "kits" to start their own Home Inventory Business. Ridiculous. It's true, there is a lot to be said for keeping an inventory of your personal artifacts -- for your own obsessive impulse, insurance purposes, time capsules, whatever -- but I have to say, Innovative Software, LLC is pretty ballsy trying to push a $349 "start-up kit". Even the infomercial folks are smart enough to break that down into installments. And they don't even list the kit contents. I mean, if that cost includes the camera and some extra info that I can potentially read and maybe ponder what it might be like to own my own business, perhaps, but $349 for what will probably just amount to more marketing materials?! Inventory, please!

I want to give this entire outfit a big T-Up [<-- "T-Up" is my favorite so far] for the following: I was alerted to this "business venture" when an agent called me saying she has a client who conducts Home Inventories and would like to purchase some insurance. Turns out, he hasn't even started his business. He has just purchased one of these kits and is anticipating $25,000 in gross receipts for 2007. This guy will be lucky if he recoups the price of the kit, let alone twenty-five thousand dollars. I mean, most folks are more than happy to take videos/pictures of their own stuff themselves. And those who aren't? Well, they have personal assistants for that kind of thing -- they're not going to pay an outside entity for this service. We're on to you, Innovative Software, LLC. Stick to software development and consulting, if that's what you really do.

Time to tighten up my MySpace profile, I guess

Oh, Hollywood, you giant bagillion dollar ray of sunshine into our sad, numb, day-to-day.

So apparently reality TV "pioneer" Mark Burnett's next gift to the world is going to be a show called 'Independent' in which 100 MySpace users are going to run virtual presidential campaigns with debates and socioeconomic integrity and everything! Here's why this is so awesome:
  1. News Corp., owner of MySpace and Fox News, is the perfect media conglomerate platform for a show called 'Independent'. Because if there's one thing Fox News knows, it's fair and balanced, independent-minded politics. Am I right, Bill O'Reilly! High five!
  2. Anything that has to do with this man is automatically awesome. Behold La Murdoch:
  3. The candidates are apparently required to interact with the public. I sure hope that the 51-year old from suburban Florida who requested me as a friend last night gets one of those spots! I totally want to meet that guy!
  4. This show is going to be all about huge social truths, like this one by a Burnett exec: "We wanted it to be legit, and there's no greater democracy in play right now for people in their 20s than MySpace."
Wow. No greater democracy than a website where I get to choose which picture of my dog Nora to post next? Neat! Now why would anyone think that the other kind of democracy is lesser? Hmm. Oh well. Gotta run! The View is on!

24 April 2007

Already tight(ly wound) enough

copyright Mark Wilson/Getty Images

I never thought I'd say this, but . . . loosen up, man. Jesus Christ.

...and not a single hot fireman in sight

Listen here, Avery Hall brass. I know that urban planners often complain about the lack of interaction with the architecture department. And everyone has fond memories of fire drills in elementary school where you'd get to ditch long division and go flirt with the Davenport twins on the handball court (Adam was the cute one but Joey had a better sense of humor) as the PE teacher explained that California was on the San An-drey-us fault line.

But allowing the fire alarm to sound not once, but twice in the same time it takes me to check MySpace this afternoon is a) not the best way to spark substantive inter-departmental conversation and b) way less fun without handball courts and note-passing. You know what twenty minutes, two evacuations, half a dozen snarky librarians, and one cruelly interrupted bathroom break add up to? A giant hell-blaze of untightness. I also have it on good T-U authority that the same alarmist behaviour took place on several occasions over the weekend. (I'm so fired up right now that I'm resorting to British spelling.)

People have profiles to check serious research to do, and making us dance on coals every 5 minutes without any real safety concern is not a part of the bargain. So let's try to keep the home fires burning, shall we, Dean? Before you g-sap the life right out of us.

NYC: bring back the chrome

I gots beef with iPod. As this is my first contribution to the tighten up report, I am sad to note it is a hypocritical one, because I myself nano around the city lost in my personal Ratatat dance party. Nevertheless! I can change, as can we all.

Ipods put the greatest city in los Estados Unidos in a somnambulistic haze. Ipods allow us all to tune out the grime, the homeless, the screeching of children and subway cars. They individualize loud, release us from acknowledgment, and silence community. NYC is a Loud City! Bring back the chrome! Bring back the blaster!

Also, Albert Gonzales, Paul Wolfowitz. You've got to be kidding me. Tighten up and step down.

23 April 2007

King of Men in Need of Royal Tightening

One obvious drawback of playing a recurring role in mulit-part films is how fully the audience associates a cast member with his or her respective character. This is especially awkward for actors in epic trilogies about, say, elves and hobbits and other ring-toting, cape-sporting life forms. OK, so clearly I know that these people don't actually have such elegantly pointy ears or fuzzy feet. I do. Nevertheless, it took me a while to get used to Orlando Bloom without the flowing hair and the bows and arrows and his other ultra cool elfin accouterments. And then there was the time I was leaving the Amoeba Records store in LA and walked past Elijah Wood who looked all hunger-chic in a black hoodie and Converse. (Luckily, he's quite short, so the hobbit illusion is partly maintained). I get it. They're real people, real lives, blah blah blah.

However. "Real Life" doesn't mean that the inhabitants of Middle Earth are free to dandy about the Upper West Side in bad casual sportswear. Are you listening, Viggo Mortensen? That's right. I caught you today sunning on the Deluxe diner patio at Broadway and W 113th in that scary, scary orange short-sleeve button-up! Now, let's just take a step back and discuss this constructively. Yes, the short sleeves are bit last summer, but this sudden flush of warmth had me aimlessly scrambling around the closet this morning, too. Also, I don't have a problem with the orange, per se, and I generally salute people’s enthusiasm for that side of the spectrum. Except...well, you're already kind of orange:

Your hair is orange, your skin is orange (in a sexy, tanned leather kind of way, mind you), and you apparently enjoy holding orangey...leaf-press nature journals? Lothlorien verse imbued with magical powers? Hey, that's cool. When the rest of you is navy and nicely striped, your natural orangeness makes you look healthy and boyish. But orange has its limits. If this was Project Runway, designer/smug judge panel mainstay Michael Kors would probably comment with something that involved the phrase "matchy-matchy" or even the delightful industry acronym "DTM" (dyed-to-match). And as much as we all wish this were Project Runway, and I had recently replaced Nina Garcia as fashion editor of Elle, you owe much more than this to the good people of Gondor. Therefore, it’s time you face your glorious destiny as bestowed to you by the ages and embark on the journey of tightness. Go in peace.

Timberlake & Timbaland: Bad, and I think that they know

A few weeks ago, I was given a free ticket to go see Justin Timberlake at the John Paul Jones Arena here in Charlottesville. Check it out: I took some pictures. Secretly, I was hoping that JT would unlock a dormant girl crush -- that I would be so blown away by his dance moves that I would do nothing less than shriek with delight. Sadly, I was not moved to prepubescence, though I won't say I was altogether displeased. In fact, I now appreciate that Mr. Timberlake can play the guitar, piano and, oh yes, the keytar (though he played none of these with any virtuosic fervor) and the lights/screen-show were pretty entertaining. Indeed, Justin can move, but my favorite part of his set was the 30 minutes in which Timbaland took the stage to spin a strange mix of songs he has mostly produced (Ginuwine, Missy Elliott, Aaliyah) against a weird SciFi/anime/horror-film backdrop. The 13-year-olds became quiet.

I went to this concert 100% unfamiliar with Timberlake's newest album, Future Sex/Love Sounds and recognized maybe 4 songs he sang throughout the evening. The "interlude" to one song however, struck a familiar chord. I found myself bopping my head with the swirling, electric lyrics of *another* song I knew, but I couldn't quite place it. Only today did I realize it was Walter Meego's "Romantic" from their 2006 Romantic EP that I was remembering during JT's laser show. Making a side-by-side comparison, I realize that my brain was exactly right: did Timbaland (along with co-writers N. Hills and Timberlake) rip Meego off?

The song in question is "Lovestoned - I Think She Knows (Interlude)". [Video for "Lovestoned" here.] For some reason, someone posted just the interlude on YouTube, which is perfect evidence:

Listen to that, then compare it to this, the video for Walter Meego's "Romantic" (particularly from -3:20, on):

Besides the obvious (the tune and the video for "Romantic" being awesome), the similarity between the two tracks is remarkable. This requires measures more serious than a mere tighten-up; we're talking full-blown lock-down. Tim "Timbaland" Mosely, Nate Hills and Justin Timberlake, tighten-up! Walter Meego, sue those guys!

Gypsy Terrorists?

A major T-U goes in tandem to the U.S. Government and to the Iridum Jazz Club for keeping Bireli Lagrene out of the country, and then not notifying concertgoers about it.

Bireli Lagrene might be the world's best Django Reinhardt-style guitarist. Like Django, he is a French Gypsy. He was supposed to play a multi-night engagement at the Iridium, ending last night. My friend (and musical force of nature, and singer/songwriter/guitarist for The Woodshedders) Dwayne Brooke told me about the show, which he was going to drive to NYC with 3 others to see [from West Virginia].

We all arrived at the Iridium a half-hour before showtime only to find that Bireli had to cancel because of Visa problems--he was never even able to leave France.

So here's why everybody needs to tighten up: A. Bireli Lagrene is not a terrorist, he's a gypsy. Where I come from, there's a difference. B. The Iridium made no effort to inform ticketholders of the cancellations via ticketweb, their website, or by phone--each of which was not only possible, but was the right thing to do given the nature of the cancellation.

A tighten up for a tighten upper

This may be against the tighen code, but I am issuing a tighten up on Becca. That's right, you. Don't act so surprised. As many of you know, Becca lives in D.C. and frequently heads up to the city to see Pep. Well, as she and I are old comrades, we typically at least grab a drink. The message I recived on Saturday night read something like this, "B is fading...Becca=Lame" I couldn't agree more. Tighten it up.

The French already know

From the Times:
In Argenteuil, the Paris suburb where Mr. Sarkozy in 2005 described young delinquents as “scum,” Jocelyne Chauvin, a 53-year-old post office administrator, said that security concerns had driven her to vote for Mr. Sarkozy.

“We need to tighten things up,” said Ms. Chauvin, adding that putting young people to work should be the highest priority for the next president.

22 April 2007

It's April, It's 70 Degrees Out, And For God's Sake, It's 2007

...so tighten up and ditch the Uggs. Ugh.

[Greenwich Village, sighted outside 7th Avene/Cristopher Street Tasti D-Lite]

Robert Moses, in need of tightening for almost 70 years

While residents of and visitors to the City of New York do owe credit to Robert Moses for some of his contributions, most noticeably the creation of many parks and recreation activities, and while it may be possible to forgive his position as Chairman of the Mayor's Committee for Slum Clearance, some of Mr. Moses's acts are unforgiveable. Luckily, some of his most egregious desires were stymied despite his incredible position of power. Some thoughts, though, are so flagrant that merely making them public should be... whatever one step down from crimes against humanity would be.

Robert Moses Exhibit

This is one of those thoughts.

Robert Moses, I bid you a posthumous tightening, and, if I may quote from Billy Madison, "I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

14 April 2007

Guide to Tightening up Your 'Drobe

Need to tighten up your wardrobe? Let the Sartorialist be your guide. All eye candy and little text, it's a guide for men and women on how to do it right. He has a great eye, and finds good fashion sense in places other than the normal hotspots.

Our besuited friend, above, is probably the best story of all of them. Checkit here.

Also, check out his SartoriaList for places in Manhattan to get stuff done.

12 April 2007

Friendly Mutton Chops

While their blue-gray color scheme and choppy layout might deserve a spot on the Tightness Watch list, Beards.org deserves nothing less than praise for it's extensive image catalog of beards and the modern men that sport them. Nice work, gentlemen. (See specifically, "Beards of the world", "Beard Styles" and "Featured Beards".)

Jesus is on [Christian] MySpace

Finally, proof that Jesus is computer literate: he has a profile on Christian MySpace.

My favorite part:

"Jesus's Vision:
No Vision has been entered yet."

...better tighten that up, Jesus.

11 April 2007

The Tighten Up Report gets results

U.Va.'s alumni association was ordered to tighten it up after sending a "Bagels and Buses" e-mail promotion for Foxfield Races, where they featured this ghastly graphic:

Grotesque, vaguely sexual, and badly photoshopped: yes this graphic hit the trifecta.

Fans of tightness can rejoice, for today the alumni association sent out another reminder, featuring the following graphic:

It's not high art, but it'll do.

University of Virginia Alumni Association: congratulations for tightening up! However, be advised that you are on Tightness Watch.

10 April 2007

Pepper: The irony; take your own advice.

Ahem: incompetence. Thank you, Pouy.

Subway pole-hog: loosen your grip on my convenience.

Riding the subway the other day, I was stationed mid-car (on the 1/9) and was holding onto one of the the two poles located at the foci between the middle and end door. I was on the inside of the pole. At one stop, some guy walks in, evidently obliviously, and leans against the pole--facing the opposite direction with his back to my face. As it happened, the point where his back intersected the pole was at my knuckles.

Thus, not only did he not realize he was hogging the entire pole for his own lazy goodtimes subway ride [I estimate that each pole should comfortably accomodate 3-4 passengers], he had no idea that he had pinned me to the pole. I gave him a few moments to realize his mistake, and when he failed to do so, I extricated my hand. He turned halfway round, mumbled "Sorry", and continued his tirade of looseness.

Subway pole-hog, tighten up! Purchase or rent some manners, if you can afford them, or quit riding the MTA.

09 April 2007

Business Development: "Tighten Up" cards on the boards.

Realizing that far more individuals than may be accomodated here require tightening up, the executive management here at the TUR has been toying with the possibility of releasing for the liberal use by its authors "Tighten Up" cards--dimensioned like business cards and printed on high-quality stock--which may be distributed at the site of infractions as they occur. This could include events as varied as cocktail parties, sporting events, traffic accidents (under windshield wipers), business transactions, ill-advised proposals of marriage, arm-wrestling engagements, and subway stations altercations.

These examples are, of course, mere prototypes, but similar versions may hit the streets in coming months. Stay tuned for further developments.

03 April 2007

LAX needs to Tighten Up

On Thursday, P and I had a stopover in LAX. I was not informed that it morphed from an airport into a landfill. I was shocked and appalled that it was so dirty, not to mention the cesspool that was the bathroom. I thought for a second I was at a bar at 2 AM. Time to Tighten Up, LAX. You're the gross frat house of airports.

01 April 2007

Homestar Mushroom?

What's up with Mellow Mushroom's website being exactly like Homestar Runner?! I jumped over to "Mel's" website to see if I could find out what the hours are for their C'ville location (they don't have this information posted for *any* of their locations, btw) and was knocked into nostalgia to find they have modeled their site after homestarrunner.com. Even their "Menu" girl looks and sounds exactly like Marzipan.

Tighten-up, Mellow Mushroom! Get your own flash-toons ideas!