Archive for July, 2009

H1N1 in Perspective

Posted in Matt's Blog on July 22, 2009 by mattgr

EDITOR’S NOTE: Matt, this isn’t funny at all and overly preachy at the end. You fail at comedy and at life in general
Matt’s NOTE: Yeah, but I’m also the editor, so this is a completely fake conflict here. Goddamn editors

The media. It’s like heroin to me. I’m a media junkie. I read the news from several news corporations around the world, several times a day. And like any addiction, I both love and hate it. While I love the free exchange of ideas and information, I believe the media will be the death of us. Why? The loss of perspective that comes with entertainment based coverage, that’s why.

While it would be tempting and comically easy to talk about Michael Jackson and how his untimely death made news corporations into tabloids, I’m going to steer clear of that. This time, I’m actually going to write on something of substance: the H1N1 Virus.

The H1N1 flu virus (“Pandemic” since June 2009) has just claimed its 700th casualty. No doubt this is tragic, as any death is. But the World Health Organization now says the virus is “unstoppable”. Hold on, are we talking about flu or the T-1000?

Pictured: H1N1

The point is a little perspective is required here. The H1N1 broke out four months ago, claiming 700 people in that time period. It is on pace to kill 2800 this year. For the sake of argument I’ll even decuple (thanks dictionary!) that number to 28,000/year to account for additional spread. Perhaps the WHO is right about ‘unstoppable’, except for the fact that the WHO reports that the regular flu kills 250,000 to 500,000 a year. Wait, what?

H1N1

700 (fact)

2800 (on pace)

28,000 (for the sake of argument)

Regular Flu

250,000 to 500,000 (fact)

Hmm, alright, but H1N1 kills healthy people, not just the kids and the elderly. This is true. Only about 10% of regular flu deaths are healthy people. But that’s still 25,000 to 50,000 healthy people a year.

So, news corporations, begin the freakout! It’s unstoppable alright. Lock up your daughters, cancel school, close hospitals, avoid public interaction with anyone! Maybe if they reported the regular flu as much as the H1N1, I would be worried. But, since it’s a yearly thing, kind of like Christmas or Chinese government massacres, meh, no one bats an eye. H1N1 is new, fresh, and dangerous. It’s perfect for the news.

Why is Everyone in the Music Industry So Depressed?

Posted in Matt's Blog on July 13, 2009 by mattgr

Monday is such a terrible day. It’s the start of the week, you have to wake up early after enjoying 1pm wakeup times over the course of the weekend, and your body finally begins to feel the full effect of excessive alcohol ingested days before. On Monday, fun is over and work begins. Arguably, the only thing worse than Monday is Sunday night, but that’s only because of the impending doom of Monday.

So today, after I got home from work, I decided to relax and enjoy some uplifting music while I surfed the internet and generally shot the proverbial shit.

This was the wrong move.

First Song: Sometime Around Midnight by the Airborne Toxic Event

I like this song. The band also starts with an A, so it’s at the top of the iTunes list. Seems like a pretty reasonable place to start. It’s a nice, melodic song that starts out slow and builds until a full band crescendo at the end, no doubt sending every live crowd they play for wild. I start singing along in my head to the lyrics. It starts off good enough:

“the band plays some song about forgetting yourself for a while,

And the piano’s this melancholy sound check to her smile”

Poetic, cute. Almost a little too much. But as the song progresses and it becomes faster paced, it turns into a horror show:

“and you don’t care what you look like, the world is falling around you,

You just have to see her, and you know that she’ll break you in two”.

Attempt 1 at alleviating Monday induced depression: FAIL

Second Song: Amphetamine by Everclear

This song was big back in the day. OK I lied, but it’s on the same CD as Father of Mine, and one of my favorites since I was about 9 years old. It’s a super fast paced rock song about a girl named Amy, and really fun to belt out at a concert. Like Sometime Around Midnight, it starts off decent enough:

“She came out West to find the sun,

She lost her name but found a new one

Amy goes to school all day,

But at night in the neighborhood they call her Amphetamine”

The problem with this song is that it rocks out relentlessly for 2 minutes and 15 seconds, before dropping off into a saddening melody with only violins that sound like they’re crying. The lyrics don’t help:

“Met her at a party and I took her home,

She is the saddest girl that I have ever known

Yeah she wakes me up in the middle of the night

Just to tell me everything will be alright”

Attempt 2 at alleviating Monday induced depression: FAIL

Third Song: Giant by The Matthew Good Band

Another long time favorite, Giant is Matthew Good’s flagship song to open a concert. It both rocks out and acts as a lady killer in the same 6:10 minutes. I had high hopes for this one after paying attention to the last two. How can you not with the way it starts out:

[Cheerleaders chanting]

“K-I-C-K-A-S-S- [clap, clap, clap… clap, clap]

That’s the way we spell success! [clap, clap, clap… clap, clap]”

I should have known better. Matt Good is depressed all the time and it certainly shows in all his cryptically written songs. No single quote will do. It’s an overly ironic love song where he states things like the compliment ‘you’re beautiful’ is a uniform compliment that really means nothing. Other gems include invitations to kick him because he’s bleeding, and that the future is whoring. Matt Good lyrics: even in context they’re confusing.

Attempt 3 at alleviating Monday induced depression: FAIL

Fourth Song: Find Yourself by John O’Callaghan feat. Sarah Howells

After three failed attempts at rock music, I switched genres to trance. This song was included in a Podcast I downloaded and never heard it before. May as well take a chance. While the beat was good enough to be used at Suite 34 on Guido night, the lyrics make it a point to get you to kill yourself. Gems include:

“Looking at life through a loaded gun,

Take your best shot, aim it at the sun”

And:

“You’ll find yourself,

You’ll find yourself, Alone……….” [Repeated 40 times]

Thanks Sarah, for those inspiring words.

Attempt 4 at alleviating Monday induced depression: FAIL

Fifth Song: Day N’ Nite by Kid Cudi

Fuck it. I’m going to go watch Bruno.