Category Archives: The Internets

Amanda Palmer Writes A Poem, And The Internet Explodes

In what is apparently the Making It All About You Department, the not-always-social-media-savvy Amanda Palmer has written a poem titled “A Poem For Dzhokhar” on her blog over the weekend. Although the work does venture into what Suspect #2 (and his brother, Suspect #1, aka the Tsarnaev Brothers of last week’s horrific Boston marathon bombings) might be thinking, the references to iPhone battery life, Vietnamese soft rolls, and the Oh-my-Godiest line of all: “you don’t know how to tell the girl in the chair next to you that you’ve been peeking at her dissertation draft and there’s a grammatical typo in the actual file name” indicates that this poem is more about Amanda calling attention to Amanda. (We’ll let the crime of all lower-casing rest for now.)

So, the Internets noticed. Spin called it “a new low” (and paired it with an engineered-to-scare photo of Amanda enjoying a ball pit more maniacally than she might have intended), Gawker called it “the worst poem ever written,” and one blogger wrote biting parodies. And, predictably, the greatest handwringing on the Internets was of the “Neil Gaiman has to stay married to her?” variety.

It’s really not, to be fair, the worst poem ever written — it has all the hallmarks of being quickly dashed off, in an attempt to enter the dialogue in a way that’s clearly marked with her own voice and her own worldview. She has adoring fans, to be sure, and when you raise over a million dollars on Kickstarter and create a fantastic album in response, it maybe makes you feel like you can do no wrong, even after last year’s Unpaidmusiciangate — a pretty definitive indication that the Internets will not always love you.

Here’s the problem — we’re all watching from a distance right now as the FBI, CIA, and whoever else is questioning Dzhokhar right now trying to get into his head. We’re pretty sure that he wasn’t bleeding to death hiding in a boat thinking about Vietnamese soft rolls, and if he was, we’re not concerned about that. We want to know more important things, like why did they try to kill people, was he and his brother working with other terrorists to kill people, and are there plans to kill anymore people, including any additional bombs hidden in Boston. Right now, getting into the mind of the bomber isn’t a journey to the land of aesthetic ennui and artists-who-made-it problems for those of us who feel compelled together. We want to see the blueprint imprinted in that mind — namely, a plan to hurt and kill innocents, a plan that worked, a plan that took an eight-year-old boy and two young women from the world. We collectively want to know the extent of the plan so we can begin to heal and fight the fear and bewilderment that terrorism means. There’s a time and place for navel-gazing art. The galvanic response to Amanda’s thoughts on Amanda as filtered through Dzhokhar is the audience saying that this is not quite the time and place.

(Update: The title was arbitrary, and it only took her nine minutes to write the poem. We suspected as much.)

He Bites, He Dives, He Hates the Jackson Five: The Enigmatic Luis Suarez Just Got More Enigmatic

Sometimes, sport transcends itself and becomes something of which the whole world takes notice. Sometimes, it’s as a result of something very dramatic and on the field of play and amazing. Something, though, it’s Tiger Woods driving his SUV into a tree and setting off a whole investigation into his sex life, or it’s Mike Tyson doing any number of Mike Tyson things, or, as happened yesterday for the second time in his career (speaking of Mike Tyson things), it’s Luis Suarez biting an opposing player (Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanonic) in the middle of a game between two of the most high-profile English football clubs.

It’s even more remarkable in that the referee didn’t see it, Suarez was allowed to stay in the game, and scored the last-gasp, game-tying goal. Suarez is no stranger to controversy — the “he bites, he dives, he hates the Jackson Five” is an awesome soccer chant referring to a past biting incident (when he played for Holland’s Ajax), his propensity to pretend to be fouled, and his prior ban for racism toward Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. In other words, dude’s an enigma — eminently talented, but a certified jackass. (That doesn’t even include this jackassery on the world stage playing for his native Uruguay in the last World Cup.)

After the game, the Fox Soccer crew questioned Suarez’ IQ and ability to function in society, and Twitter was alight with mirth about the incident. Our personal favorite was “Dinner is Serb,” in reference to Ivanovic’s heritage, though there were plenty of cracks about Suarez just wanting a “taste of Champions League football” (which you instantly get if you follow the English Premier League). Suarez will surely feel the wrath of a suspension and a fine, though perhaps the Gulag of Hilarious Internet Memes is where he’ll feel this the most.

(Update: The memes in question. The last one is particularly LOL-worthy.)

Patton Oswalt Is Winning The Week

On the heels of Patton Oswalt’s words of hearing post-Boston Marathon attack comes this amazing outtake (courtesy of io9) from his guest spot on Parks and Recreation. It’s an eight-minute-long “citizen filibuster” at a Pawnee town meeting, in which Oswalt’s character offers a vision for Star Wars Episode VII involving a “time ribbon,” Lando hooking up with Leia, The Avengers, the return of Boba Fett, and a disturbing Chewbacca sub-plot. Highly entertaining and nerdy as all get out.

Sequestered in Winterfell? The Hold Steady Helps Soundtrack Game of Thrones

During this past Sunday’s HBO premiere of Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 3, a group of rogues sang a song called “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” a boisterous drinking song popular in Westeros. After the episode’s dramatic SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT conclusion, an especially boisterous, fully-rocked-out version of the song played over the closing credits, courtesy of The Hold Steady — in a hipsters-meets-Lannisters treatment previously journeyed to via The National’s “Rains of Castamere.” Wired explores the phenomenon smartly, and reveals the news that the Hold Steady’s version will be available in our world’s version of celebrating Ye Olde Mystical Tymes — for Record Store Day on April 20.

A Pizza With An Ear Infection: Sandwich Monday Takes On the Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza

Oh, ‘Merica. In the never-ending quest of American fast food chains to fill us with fat, Pizza Hut has created a cheese pizza with bowls of cheese ringing the pizza. We wish we were kidding. It’s called the Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza, and it is undeniably all those things. Even though a pizza is clearly not a sandwich, the awesome team at NPR’s Sandwich Monday took the plunge (into a pool of cheese) to review the Hut’s latest offering. Hilarity ensues. Oh my God, does hilarity ensue.

Now That Cher’s Dead: When Hashtags Go Awry

Ah, cultural literacy. Margaret Thatcher’s passing has been attracting plenty of social media traffic today, much of it marked with the Twitter hashtag #nowthatchersdead. As the Dallas Morning News notes, some read the hashtag completely differently — thinking that the five-decade reign of pop songstress Cher had come to an untimely end. Thankfully, every sailor’s favorite singer is still with us. Maybe #nowthatthatchersdead would have made it clearer?

Roasting Guy Fieri: Parody Site Takes On Frosted-Tipped Flavor Explosion King

Oh, Guy Fieri. First, your restaurant gets one of the most scathing, vitriolic reviews in the history of restaurants in the New York Observer, citing his birth as “the beginning of a year when the world caught on fire” and then just getting more hateful from there. Then, the New York Times’ Pete Wells reviewed the restaurant in a series of the most deliciously snarky questions ever put together into a single review, including “Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste?” and “Is this how you roll in Flavor Town?”

Now, we learn that Guy Fieri has not parked the guysamericankitchenandbar.com URL. We know that because of this completely awesome parody website/menu. Our favorite details might be the bidet that plays Smash Mouth or the picture of David Lee Roth stapled to a deep-fried snake, and really, you just need to read the whole brilliant thing.

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Today’s NBA Stars: They Can Beat Michael Jordan at Something

The always-excellent crew at The Basketball Jones, our favorite Canadian-based basketball and pop culture podcast, is down in Houston for All-Star Weekend, and with it being Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday this weekend — a fact not lost on Fall Out Boy in their random duet with 2 Chainz — they took it upon themselves to ask the participants in this year’s All-Star Game to come up with things they’re better at than the Greatest of All Time. Answers included Uno, Checkers, dressing, drawing, mouth-grape-catching (of course), and a whole lot of video games. And, from the Matt Bonner we’re clearly all fans of, cribbage.

Let Everybody Know!: More YYY Preview, Now With More Shimmery Guitars

So, Mosquito‘s coming — the first album in far-too-long from Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The second teaser preview is now up, shown here on NME, but it’s really everywhere — and it’s a more shimmery, elegant, ’90s sounding effort that seems a bit surprising (given the muscle of the title song and the Garbage Pail Kid on the cover). But since that seems to going around a bit these days, with the new My Bloody Valentine and all, maybe it’s right in line with what’s shaping up to be Shoegaze Year.

Let Everybody Know!: Cold War Kids Might Very Well Be Back

The perhaps back-in-form Cold War Kids.

Cold War Kids give their first glimpse of the pending April 2 release of Dear Miss Lonelyhearts with a (cue Rock Critic Adjective Generator) soaring, anthemic, urgent song called “Miracle Mile.” After the commercial-leaning, glossy disappointment that was 2011’s Mine Is Yours, which laid in sharp contrast to the brilliance of their earlier, rawer work.

There are some generally encouraging video hints to other album tracks here, with their arty black-and-white aesthetic fully intact.

Between this and the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs (more on this tomorrow), we may just spend April under headphones.