KT’s Pop Song Review: “Rude” by Magic!

Hey Clamsketeers, I’m here with a new column. Every couple weeks, or when the mood strikes me (we’re not the scheduling type here at the Gloucester Clam), I’ll do a review of whatever pop song I hate the most at that time. Now, I don’t hate all pop music by a long shot, but some of it just sucks major taint.

“Rude” by MAGIC!

 

Right out the gate, I hate this song. I have hated it since I first heard it probably driving my kids somewhere fun while they complained heartily. First of all, MAGIC! bills themselves as “Canadian Reggae Fusion,” which is literally the worst phrase I have ever heard, right behind “Vaginal Trans Mesh.” I am not a big reggae fan, first of all. Sorry (I am not sorry). But a Canadian white bro group offering up a “fusion” of reggae? Oh my god, I need a moment to compose myself here so I don’t start screaming “WHY DO WE LOVE WEIRD CULTURAL APPROPRIATION!” at the kitchen walls. UGH. UGHHH.

I loathe this type of music. It’s the kind of song that 45 year old office managers with crunchy curly hair and pullover sweaters like. It’s the equivalant of soft white bread, in musical form. Listening to it is like stepping in wet cat food. This is literally the least edgy band to ever exist. This is worse than Jason fucking Mraz.

So this video. Of course it starts off with a pretty blonde white girl. OF COURSE IT DOES LOOK HOW SKINNY SHE IS. No one looks this hot ever. Meanwhile the odd-looking fellow fronting the band (I shall imagine his surname is Noseario because look at that thing) drives a 87 Tercel off to ask his pretty blonde white girlfriend’s dad if he can marry her. He is looking like President Business, so this isn’t gonna end well. Oh, he says no, what a surprise.

I DON'T LIKE YOUR FACE OR YOUR STUPID MUSIC

I DON’T LIKE YOUR FACE OR YOUR STUPID MUSIC

And then he’s all “I’m gonna marry her anyway!” THEN WHY DID YOU ASK? WHAT THE FUCK GAME ARE YOU PLAYING HERE SIR? I haaaate the phony asking your hand in marriage bullshit in the first place like any half-assed feminist should. More middle aged white people pandering shit, right there.

Why does this weirdfaced dude keep kicking at the camera? Is this 1996, am I watching a No Doubt video? Stop it. You stop it right now. Stay still. Are you on meth?

OH YOUR SHOES ARE WORN, HOW AUTHENTIC.

OH YOUR SHOES ARE WORN, HOW AUTHENTIC.

There are so many parts of this song that are the worst, but the petulant, whiny tone of “WHY YOU GOTTA BEEE SOO RUUUUDE” is like nails on a chalkboard. Literally worse than when my children make that whine/scream when I turn off Futurama.

And then there’s some wedding scene where the hot blonde chick looks stunning, and this stoner is wearing a red knit touque like an asshole.

The rest of this band looks like dicks, too. What are they wearing? Oh my god I would rather meet a rotting sack of potatoes than this band.

THANKS A LOT, CANADA

THANKS A LOT, CANADA

I don’t ask for much in this world, but if this band could be a one-hit wonder, I would be content with my lot in life. Say yes say yes cuz I need to know.

(I hope you have appreciated this review. If you like how much I hate this song, be sure to let me know, and I will do more. I also hate other songs.)

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SPORTHORSE RECAP FISHBOX DERBY

HELLO THERE. SPORTHORSE RETURNING TO DUTY. WHEN NOT DOING SPORTS COLUMNS FOR THIS BLOG, SPORTHORSE PAINT HOUSES TO PAY RENT. I KNOW, HOW DOES A HORSE PAINT WITH NO OPPOSABLE THUMBS, YOU THINK? LISTEN I CAN DO MANY THINGS, JUST BE QUIET AND READ THE DAMN BLOG. I CANNOT HIT THE CAPS LOCK BUTTON THOUGH I HAVE TRIED I AM SORY ABOUT THAT.

MY BAD

MY BAD

SPORT HORSE WENT TO FISHBOX DERBY WITH FOALS OVER WEEKEND FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A PLAY BY PLAY OF EVENT. SPORT HORSE NOT SURE WHAT TO EXPECT. IN GORTON PARKING LOT, MANY FISHBOX CARS WERE BEING PREPARED FOR RACING – EXTRA WHEELS, AXLES – THESE FOLKS ARE PREPARED FOR SERIOUSNESS.

AND I AM LIKE, RACING IN CARS? I THOUGHT THIS WAS A DERBY WITH HORSES.

THIS IS NOT A DERBY WITH HORSES.

THERE WAS NOT EVEN A HORSE CAR.

I HAVE BEEN DUPED. BUT SINCE SPORT HORSE IS GOOD SPORT (IT IN MY NAME), I STAY AND WATCH. AND HAD FUN! KIDS AGE 8-15 RACE SMALL CARS DOWN HILL IN 2 LANES AND TRY NOT TO SMASH INTO HAY BALE AT ENDS. THERE IS OFFICIAL TIME CLOCK AND EVERYTHING. IT KIND OF AWESOME!

SOME KIDS SMASH INTO HAY BALES AT END. ONE KID PUSHED HAY BALE LIKE 30 FEET. I THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO MANCHESTER BUT WHO REALLY WANTS TO GO TO MANCHESTER.

HERE GOES MY SMALL FRIEND CALVIN DELVECCHIO WHO IS NOT A HORSE

HERE GOES MY SMALL FRIEND CALVIN DELVECCHIO WHO IS NOT A HORSE

RACERS GET TO GO TWICE, ONCE IN EACH LANE. THEY AVERAGE THE TIMES AND WHOEVER IS FASTEST WINS. MY FAVORITE CAR WAS ALLIGATOR CAR. ALLIGATOR CAR NOT FASTEST, BUT MOST AWESOME, AND THAT IS WHAT MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE. NOT WINNING, BUT BEING AWESOME.

SPORTHORSE LOVED ANNOUNCING. REMIND ME OF RACES OF MY YOUTH. ANNOUNCERS SPENT ABOUT 80% OF THE TIME THEY WERE TALKING TO TELL PEOPLE TO GET HOOFS UP OFF CURB. YES YOU. GET FEET AND PAWS AND HOOFS OFF CURB. YOU IN THE RED SHIRT. THIS MEANS YOU. READY UP ABOVE? READY DOWN BELOW?

I GUESS THEY NOT HAVE WALKY TALKYS FOR THIS.

SPORTHORSE LOOKING FORWARD TO WHEN OWN PROGENY CAN RUN RACES. I MEAN I AM HORSE, SO I MEAN HORSE RACES, BUT FISHBOX DERBY NOT A BAD BACKUP.

WELL UNTIL HOCKEY STARTS, OR I HAVE TIME TO WATCH A FOOTBALL GAME, THIS IS SPORTHORSE SIGNING OFF.

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Pumpkin Spice: What Gloucester Needs

This is another amazing post from our social media expert and altogether hilarious contributor Brooke Welty. 

With the arrival of autumn, tourists are starting to trickle off of the cape and return to their warrens and vast underground lairs to slumber for another year. This can present a problem for some local business owners who rely on tourist dollars to pay the bills.

Aand they're gone.

Aand they’re gone.

With this in mind, some enterprising locals have come up with a plan to lure some of the hardier tourists to the area during the chillier months; Pumpkin Spice.

Pumpkin spice is known to attract several types of people, and the local business council decided, during a recent secret meeting, to take advantage of the seasonal favorite by experimenting liberally with its application to popular tourist food items.

International Sign of Autumn

International Sign of Autumn

Local fishermen have had mixed success with the introduction of things like “Pumpkin Spice Dog Fish” and “Pumpkin Spice Flounder.”

“Well,” Said a captain of a local trawler, “Some women in yoga pants tried it and really seemed to love it. They weren’t sure at first what to do, but we packaged it as sushi and they just went to town. Some of the older folks though, they just didn’t get it. Said something about pumpkin spice belonging in coffee. Traditionalists, yah know.”

You can really taste the pumpkin. Also, the swordfish.

You can really taste the pumpkin. Also, the swordfish.

When asked what brought them to town now, at the end of the season, one of the women replied “We just love Pumpkin Spice so much. It makes me think of sweaters and leaves!” She paused, taking another bite of her Pumpkin Spice Swordfish, “Pumpkin Spice fish just really says ‘fireplace weather’ to me, and when I heard Gloucester was offering it…well! I had to come.”

Pumpkin Spice is helping about another local business, The Crow’s Nest. The late-night bartender said “Well we got a little thing of the McCormick does a pre-mixed Pumpkin spice blend, so we just started shaking that into the bottom of the glass before we pour the beer. It’s not even just the tourists that drink it up. These guys love it.” She nodded over to a long time customer, a man in his fifties with a graying beard who nodded, lifting his Pumpkin Spice Bud Light in return.

pumpkinspice

 

The allure of Pumpkin Spice is sure to breathe new life into winter tourism here in Gloucester.

(Bud Light picture is courtesy of Elite Daily, who are funnier than we are.)

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Humans of Gloucester

Brooke Welty needs to get her own dang login, so she can post this awesomeness and get the mad cred she deserves for writing this brilliance.

For the first in a series of hopefully many. I’ll be stopping random humans through the city, so please know that if I stop you, it’s legit and you’re not going to end up on some weird fetish site. Not by my hand, anyway.

For the rest of my interviews, I’ll be stopping to chat with actual humans (mostly) but I thought I would start out with one of those who we share our fair city with.

YO

YO

ME: “Were you born in Gloucester, or did you migrate?”

TIM: “Oh, I was born here. I’m a true islander. My family has been here for oh…thousands of years I would guess. One of my great grandmothers actually nested in the Babson house’s chimney.”

ME: “What do you think about the decline in Gloucester’s fishing industry? Is it affecting your family?”

TIM: “Oh, yeah it is. I mean, I get it. Less fish means fewer fishermen, means less fish parts for us to steal. I just wish the government had taken measures to prevent this from happening decades ago. They should have seen it coming, but your kind tends to put on blinders to future problems, am I right? We’re managing, though. We get by. This new hotel down the fort will help, bringing in more tourists. More trash, you know.”

ME: “What’s your favorite thing about Gloucester?

TIM: “Oh, the seafood, definitely. If you go the right time of day, you can get whole fish heads right off the dock over at Capt. Joes. We haven’t got much cod fishing any more, but lobstering is still going, so I get plenty from those guys. Nothing like snatching a half eaten lobster or some fries from people,too.”

ME: “What is one thing you think Gloucester could really do to improve things?”

TIM: “An Indian restaurant would be nice.”

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No Snark Sunday: Fusion and all that Jazz

Once, on a research project for an ad agency trying to come up with a campaign for long term health care insurance we found a weird thing: When you told people they have a 30% chance of needing nursing care, they would be less likely to buy it than if you didn’t, actually mention that. It completely weirded us out. You’re supposed to tell people the problem and then sell them the solution, that’s the whole job. Like, Problem: “You’ve got ring around the collar!” Solution: “Try Wisk! No, don’t drink it you idiot!” (advertising research could get pretty weird)

But in this case actually telling people about the reality made them far less likely to act. In interviews after the primary research with people whom we had told they stood a good chance of needing long term care, they mostly threw up their hands and were like, “Well, whatever. It’s in God’s hands, not mine.” It made them want to steadfastly do nothing, as if aggressively ignoring the problem would somehow make it go away, like a bee flying around your head

Just sit still and ignore it and it will go away

Just sit still and ignore it and it will go away

It’s what psychoanalysis calls “resistance.” You can caution me about a small problem, like that I have spinach between my teeth and I’ll act, and you can warn me about an acute problem, like my suit is on fire, and I’ll roll around on the ground.  But try and get me to deal with something big and long-term that is going to cause me a massive amount of psychological pain and I just shut down and do nothing. This is because we humans are, for all our intelligence about some things, complete fuckwits about others.

No I do not have a cigar

No I do not have a cigar

Thus, we have such a hard time managing big, societal problems. When faced with them a significant population of people just throw up their hands and say, “It’s too big!” and another, much stupider, bunch go into full-bore denial mode and start coming up with crazy-ass stories about the chemtrails and the Masons and the Rothschilds or drop some brain turd like about how a bunch of scientists got together and agreed on faked global climate research at which point I splurt hot coffee out my nose from laughter. I work with scientists a lot and you can’t get any two of them to agree on anything even when we’re trying to simply explain what a product actually does, right there, on the bench in the lab, in front of our faces.

What you learn about managing big problems is that you need to A) break it down into smaller, digestible pieces (“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Pilot speaking, I want to highlight a single problem we’re having right now and that’s the loss of our starboard wing”) and B) Make sure there is optimism. That one is tough when you’re dealing with situations like the climate where you can kind of get to Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic living without much effort. You have to show people there is hope that the future is bright. Like, for instance the Mad Max lifestyle will mean lots of fresh-air and exciting wardrobe choices.

Tina rocked it

Tina rocked it

With that in mind, I’m going to drop some really good news on y’all. Everyone who isn’t a total dipshit knows climate change is a massive challenge facing everyone on the planet. But there is a really good chance that if we can keep it in check by doing some of the right things in the short term, the incredible advances being made in fusion energy research will save our asses in not-too-long a time.

Nuclear reactors of today work using the principle of fission, splitting atoms. It’s messy, hard to control, produces a lot of waste, has a lot of safety issues and is tremendously expensive to scale up and it’s increasingly difficult to economically produce fuel. Fusion is smooshing (technical term) atoms together is what powers the Sun and will be an amazing energy source right here on Earth once we learn to sustain the reactions. But the good news is that, unlike fission which needs to be shut down to keep the reaction from running away, fusion can be turned off like a light switch and the reaction won’t continue, explode or produce dangerous radiation.

Behold! Whats going to save our asses!

Behold! Whats going to save our asses!

I’ve been following the progress since I was a kid (Science fiction author Robert Heinlein always talked about it) and even though it’s been around for 50 years, it’s really only the last 20 years there have been tremendous breakthroughs in making is useful for more than weapons. There are incredible experiments going on in California and an ongoing international project in France is making an actual fusion reactor. As we learn more the progress tends to become exponential, especially as we get better with material production and computer modeling using artificial intelligence. I could tell you more but so many words, just watch the video. Yeah, it’s nine minutes and the guy is a nerd, but it’s the future of our species so maybe worth the watch?

This is not a pipe dream. The experiments going on in other places are also making tremendous progress. The estimate, and it’s not overly-optimistic- is that we can have fusion up and running by 2030.

That is not a long time. What we need to do between now and then is work on the intermittent technologies, the renewables and efficient systems. We need to keep our consumption in check. We need to fully fund the science and hold our government and others accountable and let public interest not specific industries make the decisions.

Mostly we need to not lose hope, because this power source is coming. Fusion happens in nature, in fact most of the visible universe is made up of plasma made from fusion. In just the past 85 years we’ve split the atom, harnessed its energy, albeit crudely via fission, and now it’s time to move to the far more elegant and efficient and exponentially less risky fusion.

Pictured: Not you

Pictured: Not you

And since the planet and our species and society will likely survive, it’s far less likely  your polished skull will wind up as the hood ornament of a spike-covered dune buggy. So you should probably also get long term care insurance, is what I’m saying.

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Vegas and Our Impending Casino Deal

Howdy, Clampadres! I’m fresh from the hot desert hell that is Las Vegas, where I was just at a convention for the job that kind of pays me. I’ve seen some things, and some stuff. Here is an abbreviated list of some of the eyebrow-raising shenanigans I observed:

- A drive through pawn shop and payday loan place.

'Murica.

‘Murica.

- A guy with white tube socks and sandals with a chinese symbol tattooed on his neck.

- An entire shop dedicated to those dumb bowler/trillby hats that men’s rights activists and neckbeards flock to.

- Pete Rose signing autographs inside a store with no one there. Two days in a row.

It was like this except worse.

It was like this except worse.

- A drunk man hanging halfway out of his motorized wheelchair.

- Walking into a bathroom stall that I thought was empty except a drunk teenager was vomiting in it.

The casino culture here got me thinking about what will eventually happen if the proposed casino development at Suffolk Downs goes forward. What will those casinos be like?  We have so much local flare here on the Noath Shore, of course it’s going to carry over into our assuredly world-class gambling facility. There’s no way we can be as insane as Vegas, but we can try our best. Therefore, I assume the following will happen once this casino opens:

- Stripper poles will all be equipped with cupholders that are large enough to hold a Dunk’s iced with a hot cup over it.

- 75% of the casino will basically be the part of Tedeschi’s where people just sit around a table and watch the KENO screen.

Like that, but with more Miracle on Ice shit on the walls.

Like that, but with more Miracle on Ice shit on the walls.

- Scratch tickets everywhere. Like, more than usual. Enough to blow onto the tarmac at Logan. I mean, they have all that snow removal equipment anyway, they can probably just use it year-round now.

- Cirque de Sully: Instead of breathtaking acrobatic feats, it’s just a bunch of former frat dudes with basketball shorts and Sox hats on who joined Crossfit and want to show off their sweet-ass squat jumps. Yo, Petey can even do a backflip. It’s epiiiic.

- Carl Everett signing autographs at the big dinosaur outside the Science Museum.

Google Image Search comes through with another winner.

Google Image Search comes through with another winner.

- A guy with white tube socks and sandals with a chinese symbol tattooed on his neck.

I, for one, am looking forward to the casino. I mean, look at Vegas. We’ve got all those pretty lights and a casino company raking in profits, and then the crippling poverty a few miles away. It’s what America’s all about!

 

 

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Brooke Special Bonus: Clam Travel Insert : UK Part 2, Electric Boogaloo

Because it was election day Brooke only got 1/2 day on this excellent post. We’re re-posting it so it gets the glory it richly deserves.

Hello again, Clammunists. It’s time to continue my travel feature, mostly because KT and James occasionally need a damn day off from filling the blog with actual content that people want to read. So, enjoy some stories about a faraway place, off the island!

I’ve been to Britain twice, and most of that time has been spent in the city of Bristol. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s ok, most Americans haven’t. As I said before, Bristol is neither London, nor anywhere near Downton Abbey. It sits a bit to the south and west of London, in an area of Britain imaginatively called The West Country.
HISTORY! It’s full of so much history that Bristolians (I’m not certain that’s a real word, but I want it to be) pretty much ignore it, walking past things like the ruins of a 1000 year old castle, Tudor architecture, and more medieval churches than you can shake a tortured heretic at on their daily errands without so much as a second thought. That said, it probably loses some wonder when you see it every day. God knows I no longer gawk in awe at the Gorton’s sign.
One of my favorite historical bits of the city is St. Mary Redcliffe, an amazing example of Gothic architecture in the form of a huge, ancient church. Go ahead and Google it, I don’t mind. Take your time, drink in those pictures.
This building is gorgeous and slightly terrifying. Heading inside, you pass through remarkably intimidating doors only to get smacked in the face with the sense that, holy shit, you’re actually standing knee deep in history. No actually, it would be more like chest deep.

Picture 8
All through the place are the tombs of the rich and/or pious , who are buried right in the damned floor of the place, with a big marker slab embedded in the tiles. A lucky few have above floor tombs with carved likenesses of stone. On a pillar of one of the stone tombs is carved “WM 1699.” Yes, some bored kid sitting through a boring sermon over 300 years ago carved his or her initials into a medieval tomb. Pretty badass move, WM. I hope you didn’t go to hell for it.
PIRATES! I couldn’t possibly touch on it all here, but Bristol has a ton of interesting history, including a lot of pirates. You can still see caves and passages carved out of the sandstone harbor cliffs where they hid their booty (heh..heh.) Blackbeard himself was from Bristol! How cool is that? That horrible pirate accent you hear in Movies? It’s a shitty, heavy handed Bristol accent. That said, a lot of the history of the city is bleak. Sadly, pirates were not the cheery rum swilling ne’er do-wells Disney would have you believe. On top of that, Bristol was a major slave trading port in the mid 1700’s, which is not exactly something the average vacationer likes to think about, so we will move on.

Picture 9

CULTURE The city has a hard to describe laid back sort of a feel. I can’t really put it into words, other than to say that it didn’t feel like anyone was hurrying anywhere, if that makes sense. It has a ton of charm, in architecture and just general feel.  We spent a few days in Nottingham, and the difference was stark. Nottingham was all angles, harsh looking buildings, and people without character, hurrying to get somewhere. Bristol is different, and I think this might owe something, at least in part, to the history of the city and how Bristolians (I’m keeping that word, dammit) lay claim to it and process the shittier parts of their shared heritage, some of which as I said before, is pretty goddamned bleak.

Bristol has been an epicenter for art for a while now, with a lot of poignant cultural commentary coming out of its fairly rough inner areas. Remember Trip-Hop, fellow 90’s kids? Tricky, Portishead, Massive Attack, they all came from Bristol, bringing with them a dark sort of weird aesthetic. Also hailing from Bristol is that favorite of White People who like to pretend they know about art, Banksy. The thing is, art is everywhere in Bristol. Even in the bleakest parts, buildings are covered with amazing works of graffiti. I don’t recall if there were any painted crosswalks, but there may have been.

NOT CULTURE! Know what else Bristol has a lot of? Chavs. What is a Chav, you ask? Think of Snooki and the other Jersey Shore kids, add more teenage pregnancy and drunken stupor. Wrap it all in Burberry plaid, and increase the violent tendencies. I saw a pack of them, all decked out in their finest tracksuits and wanted to take a picture, but my husband convinced me that I probably shouldn’t.

Picture 10
As lovely as Bristol is, it also has a lot of trash. Literal trash, as in garbage. Say what you will about good ol’ Merica, but our cities in general are much more tidy. Husband and I walked a few blocks to breakfast one morning and had to dodge multiple sets of stairs full of vomit and piss (remember that drinking culture I mentioned in my last article? HERE YOU GO), beer cans, and trash all over the sidewalks. On the plus side, I did find multiple fliers for the Lady Boys of Bangkok show, so there’s that. I think the Gloucester Arts Council may want to think about booking these gals.

Picture 12All in all, Bristol is great. Given the opportunity, I would spend a lot more time there. There’s so much to it, and so much I don’t have the space to tell you about (Let’s face it, this is already dangerously near TL;DR territory) so here’s a list of some stuff I didn’t get to tell you about, since you people like them so damn much. Google these things, or use your imagination, kids.
•    St. Nicholas Market – a fabulous 18th century market, with vendor stalls selling everything from meat to old records.
•    The River Avon – yes, THAT river Avon, of Shakespeare fame. It runs through the city, and you can take river tours and drink in floating pubs.
•    The Food- British food is actually excellent. It gets an unfairly bad rap. Bristol has a ton of fantastic food and I ate an embarrassing amount of it.
•    Historic Pubs – All sorts of stuff went down in the old pubs which are still standing in Bristol today. The Royal Navy Volunteer, the Llandoger Trow, the Hole in the Wall and others have all been host to a lot of shady pirate dealings, and have inspired a lot of writers. Go get drunk in history.

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