A Janky Definition of “Courage”

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*Disclaimer: i don’t care for Apple products. While i think they function decently, i even owned a Mac desktop for several years, and had an i-phone & I-pad as  work issued devices, there is nothing revolutionary about them, and they are trendy products in the same way PBR is inexplicably a trendy beer for hipsters right now. So take my opinions with a grain of salt.*

So, there’s a new I-Phone coming out. Let’s focus on the revolutionary and courageous new Specs & features:

  1. THEY GOT RID OF THE HEADSET JACK!!! REVOLUTIONARY!!! COURAGEOUS!!!!  Wait, didn’t Motorola already get rid of the jacks on their new “Z” line phones?
  2. IT’S WATERPROOF!!!!!  -Wait, Didn’t Samsung release waterproof phones starting in 2013?
  3.  AN EVEN BETTER DUAL CAMERA!!!! -Wait, didn’t  LG do that in 2011 & HTC in 2013-current? 
  4. IT HAS A REVOLUTIONARY 64 BIT QUAD CORE PROCESSOR!!!– Wait, didn’t Oppo start that trend in 2014 with the R5?
  5. HUGE BATTERY!!!!  3000 mAh battery!!!!!! –Wait, hasn’t Motorola had 6 phones since 2013 with at least a 3500 mAh battery?
  6. Professional photographers will be happy to know that the iPhone 7 finally supports RAW image format-Wait, didn’t Samsung release the Note 5 and LG release the LG G4 and LG V10 in 2015 with that feature?
  7. BUT HEY, THEY’VE IMPROVED THE FINGERPRINT SCANNER!!!! AND THEY HAD THAT FIRST -Wait, didn’t Motola have a fingerprint scanner on the Atrix in 2011?
  8. WELL, THEY PUT OUT AMAZING WIRELESS HEADPHONES!!!!!– Here’s a list of the 10 best Wireless headphones. It came out a year ago HERE     

The fact is, Apple has revolutionized its own phone for its core customers. This is a phone for people that know nothing about phones, and think 95% of Americans have an i-phone (it’s actually Android 52%, Apple 43%… Worldwide Apple is at 23%)

I’m not saying don’t buy an i-phone. If you want to make calls, text and listen to music without ever learning anything about your phone, or technology in general, then yeah, an i-phone is ok. But don’t think for a moment that Apple is doing anything revolutionary or courageous, they’re just continuing their 4 year trend of following everything everyone else does, long after they’ve done it.

Remember, Prior to the 6S & 7S, Steve Jobs said no one was ever going to buy a phone larger than 3.5-4 inches because “you can’t get your hand around it”

Visionary indeed.

 

 

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New issue of 63 Channels out now

Ok, the title kind of gives away the hook. I’m bad at click baiting. Anyway…

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It’s July, and that means the 3rd (!) issue of the re-launched 63Channels is now available.

This issue features poetry by:

Irsa Ruci

Joan McNerney

Wayne Burke

Gary Beck

Bruce Robinson

Brian Kovich

Justin Karcher

*Plus a collaboration piece by Glen Feulner & Brian Kovich*

With Short Fiction By:

Timothy Gager

James Agombar

Plus some amazing photgraphy by Mark Fitzgerald. (Pic Above)

so what are you waiting for? head over to 63Channels.net and see all the great work we’re showcasing.

Shut up and play your music…

Alicia Keys is the latest artist to ban smartphone use at her concerts. Here’s how it works:

You walk in to a Keys concert and security makes you put your smartphone in a pouch. They then lock that pouch and hand it back to you. You can’t remove your phone from that pouch until the end of the concert when security unlocks you on the way out.

So what will this do?

“We think smartphones have incredible utility, but not in every setting. In some situations, they have become a distraction and a crutch — cutting people off from each other and their immediate surroundings.”

So yeah that’s their official reasoning. But let’s be honest, its about ego. Artists like Alicia want the world to revolve around them. They don’t perform your you, you pay to experience their genius.

Additionally, in the wake of the Pulse terror attack, do we really want to limit communication in a large social setting?

I agree that people need to use their phones less and experience the moment more, but it’s not an artist’s right or responsibility to decide that for us. Remember, you’re famous because of us, not in spite of. So shut up and play your damn song.

Asshole Musicians Of The Week

Celebrities do a lot of dumb things. All the time. I know it, you know it and if they weren’t to busy doing afore-mentioned dumb things, they’d probably know it too. So here’s my top  asshole moves by bands/musicians.

  1. Maroon 5.

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Everyone that knows me knows I support gay marriage, have several gay friends and fully believe in a “live & let live philosophy”.

However, let’s play a game of spot the hypocrisy.

In Russia homosexuality was classified as a mental illness till 1993 and being openly gay was banned till 1999. Anyone that falls under the category of LGBT is openly discriminated against, has no legal protections and zero domestic partner rights. There are multiple documented cases of transpersons being beaten by vigilante groups for using the wrong bathrooms or being openly trans. Want to see freedom for openly gay people? Read up on the Russian punk band Pussy Riot.

Why bring this up? Maroon 5 has decided they can’t perform in NC because the anti-lgbt law there goes against their principles. Yet they still plan to perform in Russia this summer.

I guess principles get all “grey area” where their wallets are concerned.

     2. Beyonce

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Beyonce is all about girl power, woman power, race power….power power, power. We’ll skip over the fact that she completely fucked over the original members of Destiny’s Child and talk about her clothing line Ivy Park. Because, while she’s all about empowering women, she opted to have her clothing line manufactured in Sri Lanka. And while Beyonce is all about empowering women, the seamstresses in her factory make $6.23 a day. Now that’s power(Honorable mention goes to the national review that claims Beyonce is a hero because most workers in Sri Lanka make slightly less than $6 a day).

3. Justin Bieber

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Poor Bieber had to cancel a show in Argentina. During a visit to Argentina in 2013, Bieber was seen disrespecting Argentina’s flag during a concert and in 2015 an Argentinian judge issued an arrest warrant for him related to the assault of a photographer.

Although let’s be honest, he makes this list as long as he’s breathing.

 

 4.Wes Scantlin (Puddle Of Mudd Vocalist)

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The Charming, lovable lead singer of Puddle of Mudd has a warrant out for his arrest after failing to appear in court for one of the 12,000 dumb things he’s done in less than 2 years.

The singer’s arrest record is a laundry list of charges, including trespassing and vandalizing his former home, multiple DWI / DUIs and even riding the baggage carousel drunk at an airport. Scantlin’s also made headlines for multiple mid-show meltdowns where he accused a fan of stealing his house, shutting down a show after verbally abusing the venue’s sound guy and ranted at the crowd from a chair onstage while the rest of his band walked offstage. He even somehow managed to avoid charges for being involved in a standoff with 30 police officers. While attempting to jump-start a car, Scantlin hurried from the driveway and into his house when the authorities arrived, refusing to come out for two hours. Winning!

Friday Night Math

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So Wendy’s is going to put in self order kiosks at 6,000 locations this year, and if it goes well, start rolling it out to franchises next year. I’m going to guess if this does well, McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast food chains will follow very quickly, like right around the time minimum wage hits $15 in NY, CA and the other states putting it in to effect.
 
So here’s a quick economics lesson:
$15 is more than $9 or $10
but $9 or $10 is a lot more than what you get when your unemployment runs out because you’ve been replaced by robots.
Additionally, $9 or $10 is also enough to afford that GED you didn’t bother with or $9-$10 is enough for most people to scrape by with to get an associate degree at a community college.
lastly, $39,000 a year average for most people with associates degrees is a lot more than $9-$10 an hour. Probably worth you racking up a few years of student loans so you don’t have to smell like fry grease.
My Point?
You did this to yourself.

The Post where i rant about the Rock-N-Roll Hall Of Fame.

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The Rock-N-Roll hall of Fame ceremony was last night. Don’t worry, the show runners will whittle the ceremony down to the most bland, predictable moments for mass consumption very soon.
Gene Simmons of kiss recently spoke out against NWA getting into the Hall of Fame, saying that  rap is killing rock-n-roll and “I am looking forward to the death of rap,” he stated. He’s actually been bitching about rappers getting in for several years.

But Gene seems to forget that the spirit of rock-n-roll doesn’t die when you let rappers (or Chicago) into the hall of fame. It dies every time every one of these bands (of any type) agrees to be part of a bloated, political, mainstream mess that actually doesn’t give a shit about artists. My problems with the Hall of Shame echo my issues with the Grammys. The people voting and running these organizations are the same vastly out of touch members of the old guard that left blues, doo-wop and Motown artists penniless and destitute later in life, then “honor” them long after they’re mostly dead and profit off their inductions.
Ice cube said in a recent interview “…but I think he’s (Gene) wrong on this, because rock ’n’ roll is not an instrument and it’s not singing. Rock ’n’ roll is a spirit. N.W.A is probably more rock ’n’ roll than a lot of the people that he thinks belong there over hip-hop. We had the same spirit as punk rock, the same as the blues.”
 The flaw in Ice Cube’s statement is that this is an oganization that doesn’t care about the spirit, it lets personal tastes, back room deals and whatever way the (usually minority) public opinion is blowing decide who gets in. The fact is if any of these 20, 30 & 40 year old bands still had any rock essence left in them, most of them would stop touring as a nostalgia act & break up (good move Motley Crue).
 In fact, let’s be completely honest, if the 18 yr old versions of Gene Simmons, Ice Cube, Billy Joe Armstrong, James Hetfield, Iggy Pop, The Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Public Enemy, The Sex Pistols or The Clash, among others, were to see that most of these people actually cared about an induction into this Hall Of Shame, their younger versions would kick their asses. If rock is dead, it isn’t because Chuck D got in, it’s because he allowed it to happen at all.
Lastly:
I don’t really like Steve Millers music, never have. But he gets it pretty right with this statement. Nice to see someone say something.

The post where I mock Hollywood & the new Steve Jobs movie using potentially shaky math that I googled.

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Critics loved it! Apple! Stellar cast! Apple! Very little opening weekend competition! Apple! How could it not be blockbuster?

1. Only 64% of Americans have a smartphone.

2.  47% of those Americans use Android. There’s basically half your viewers gone.

3. 28% of Apple owners are over 50 and can barely text, never mind worship the ghost of Jobs.

4. Only 40% of movie goers are interested in seeing biopics in the theater.

5. People fail to realize that only populations of major cities really care about these types of Oscar bait-inside story movies

Take those nuggets and lets do some math! This means that since roughly 62% of American adults go to the movies every weekend, only about 105 million people would even consider going to see the movie, (this ignores 46% of the population that doesn’t even have a smartphone) and they have a choice of over 45 movies in wide release and several dozen more in limited runs….

So even if all 105 million Americans that like Apple & like biopics went to see it, they would have made roughly $16 mil this weekend. It made $7.3 mil. They forecast at least $19 mil

The bigger question is, who was dumb enough to green light it?

http://www.cnet.com/news/steve-jobs-movie-flops-in-nationwide-opening-weekend/#ftag=CAD590a51e