so gifted at finding what i dont like the most

this is me messing around on the iphone/ipad, trying to play the intro to my favorite song of the year.

this song is so good. but i’m baffled at how some professional critics have misinterpreted the track completely.

take Ann Powers from LA Times, for example. she basically interpreted the song as a middle-finger anti-apology anthem.

what? huh?

the song is clearly a confessional ballad from a man who admits he has inner demons–issues with confidence, self-love/loathe, insecurities, etc.

i don’t know how she saw that as Ye giving the finger to his critics. other critics also thought the song was directed at Taylor Swift? what?

i think the song is directed at all the women he’s loved and hurt. i mean, it’s not that hard decipher the lyrics, right?

“i can have me a good girl and still be addicted to hoodrats”, “i know i did damage, cause the look in your eyes is killing me”, “i dunno what it is with intimacy, but i’m not too good with that shit”.

and of course, “baby, i’ve got a plan, run away as fast as you can”.

what Ye is saying is clear: i know i’m a bad guy, and i know i’m hurting you. you deserve better, because you’re a good girl. so run away from me, because i can’t stop myself from being a jerk. i’m so torn.

that’s the message of the song and, along with the breakbeat, the autotune isolated vocals, the distorted vocal solo, and the drawn out keyboard note, makes the song abso-fucking-lutely harrowing.

best song of the year. and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the best album since 2007’s In Rainbows.

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screams from the haters got a nice ring to it, guess every superhero needs his theme music

Two RAD things to share today for comic geeks.

The first, is this website Laws and the Multiverse, it’s a blog written by two comic nerds (they met online; have never met in person) that attempts to figure out the hypothetical legal ramifications of comic book superheroes. Who’s responsible for the damages cost by battles in the city? If Batman captures a bad guy, are the evidence collected admissible in court?

The blog was featured in the NY Times today, read it for a good back story on how the blog started.

The second cool thing is this blog entry from China Hearsay. The blogger calls out this Wall Street Journal writer (a former coworker of mine at BEATS) for irresponsibly grouping Batman into a story about Hong Kong lottery winners. The blogger argues that it’s ugly journalism and unfairly taints the reputation of Bruce Wayne, one of the richest people in the world.

Of course, it’s satire, all in good fun. Although judging by how HK cats react to sarcasm and irony, the piece was probably misunderstood by many.

Both of these blogs do one thing: shine light on the fact that comic books can be sophisticated literature.

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music that’s played for keeps

i basically copy and pasted my facebook statues the last several months for this piece here.

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doing something mean to it/doing this thing better than anybody ever seen done it

I’m midway finished with Jay Z’s book Decoded. Half the book is an autobio and the other is a deciphering of his rhymes. I’m on the chapter for his hit Big Pimpin’. This is one of the closing rhymes:

Many chicks wanna put Jigga fist incuffs
Divorce him and split his bucks
Just because you got good head
I’mma break bread
So you can be livin’ it up
Shit I part’s wit nothin
Y’all be frontin’
Me give my heart to a woman
Not for nothin’ never happen’

After that last line, there’s a footnote. The footnote reads:

“Of course, I would ultimately end up doing what I said I would never do: give my hear to a woman”.

HA. Cute.

As I mentioned earlier, my former roommate (not the chick, but the mellow, mild-mannered SF native. Oh and technically we’re flatmates but I think “roomies” sounds funner) recently gave up his high-paying, jet-setting, managing-other-peoples-ass, 9-5 to start his own business.

This is the pilot episode of his news business.

We had a sitdown over cha-chan-teng the other day, I asked if he was aware that it may be a while before he sees financial returns. He replies saying: He knows. He ready. He ain’t doing this for dough.

My man.

BTW the Times Person of the Year–although a GREAT, GREAT read–is BS. There is no way Jules Assange is not the POY, talk about bowing to political pressure.

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21st Century Schizoid Man

Alright, after giving the album many a spin, I think the first single–the song that has been on my iPod iPhone playlist the longest–is my favorite, and best, track.

The tribal chants w/ the pounding beats, the riff-heavy intro, and of course, the sampling of King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man all mesh together into this anthem of epic proportions.

And then there’s this performance from SNL. I mean, 30 some years, SNL had the same set for live acts, Ye broke tradition, and gave us one of the most visually stunning images in television this year.

I turned in my top ten albums of the year list for SCMP last week–I’m one of five dudes to have a list for the yearending feature. Initially, I thought I’d be the only one to have Kanye number one because, as I’ve blogged a couple of weeks back, Hong Kong English speakers– a mostly British bunch — seem to dislike Kanye with a passion.

But no, now I’m thinking Kanye will be pretty high up on most of the other lists too (I haven’t seen their lists yet), even if most of the other guys aren’t Americans and are significantly older. I think at the end of the day, if you respect the art, you will acknowledge greatness and not let cultural/race/generation differences skew judgment.

This is a quote from the late, great David Halberstam, on Allen Iverson:

“We come from different worlds, and we are likely, once the Finals are over, to remain part of our different worlds. Just to admire him is good enough.”

At the time, Halberstam was a 70 some year old white man. Iverson was a controversial figure whom mainstream media hailed as a “thug” for his attitude, tattoos, cornrows, and clashes with authority.

Still, Halberstam’s admiration for good basketball players bridged that generational, racial, and cultural divide.

So yeah.

As for the rest of the list, I had Black Keys at 2, Arcade Fire at 3, Hendrix’s Valley of Neptunes at 4, Sleigh Bells at 5… and the rest I forgot.

 

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in pursuit

About four months ago, my old flatmate (no, not the chick who moved to London, my previous roommate: this mellow mild-mannered ABC) told me he was thinking of quitting his cushy managerial job to try his hand at starting a business. He didn’t even have set idea of what he wanted to do yet–he just wanted to try because all his life, he’s wanted to be an entrepreneur.

Obviously, giving up a good income to try a startup woulda been intimidating five years ago–much less in today’s economy.

But still, after much support from his lovely girlfriend, friends, and awesome former flatmate, he decided to do it.

This is the website: http://www.winehappy.com. I ain’t gonna explain what his business is–it’s too complicated, check the damn website to find out yourself.

It’s still in its beta stage, but it’s looking good.

So yeah, in the last six months, one of my flatmate dropped everything and moved halfway across the world to a gloomy-ass foreign land. Another gave up a great income and an even greater title to chase his dreams of not just being a businessman, but a business, man.

People getting off their ass and doing shit. That’s what twentysomethings should be doing.

I see the website and I’m motivated again.

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in limbo

This image is stolen off nytimes.com, specifically from an opinion piece by Mary HK Choi.

She talks about growing up in Hong Kong as an expat kid (meaning rich English speaker), and how that experience shaped her and prepped her for life in NYC. She makes many points that I can relate to, such as:

1: Feeling out of place in Hong Kong; always having this feeling that people come and go–rightfully so, because Hong Kong is a transient international city.

2: Kids/teens here have “grow up” so much faster than say typical kids in American suburbs.

The first point, I completely feel right now. The second point, I half-assedly blogged about last summer when I was hanging with these USC grad school kids who were interning in HK.

Anyway, I originally was gonna rant on the first point…but I’m at a lost for words right now.

UPDATE:

The reader comments, from mostly people with similar America/HK backgrounds, resonates so much… identity crisis, not knowing where we belong, love/hate relationship with a super efficient, yet soulless city…

Also, there’s a bit of negative reaction to the fact that the writer is a “rich kid”. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, English speakers in HK are generally rich (I am almost certainly the poorest one), and the writer definitely fits into that small “elite circle”. Some readers have pointed out that makes her a minority and most readers cannot relate to her lifestyle.

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