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November 28, 2007

Post-Black-Friday @ Hotel Penn

Rob @ 2:03 PM

At work, people are still talking about the fabulous stuff they bought on "Black Friday." I think I liked that term better back in my retail days, when it was just something my fellow mall proprietors and I said when either being hopeful about the expected receipts ("Thanks to Black Friday, we get to go on eating food!") or bitchy about the angry hordes of vicious, rude consumers ("MotherfXcking Black Friday. Don't you people have anything better to do than make me hate life more?")

I used to call it "Buy Nothing Day," and I still don't take part in the holiday retailgasm (I prefer to make my few holiday purchases either insanely early or hideously late) but this past Friday I did have to buy a pair of gloves from a hotel gift shop.

Why, you doubtless aren't wondering, were my hands cold?

Many of you know how much I dig the Hotel Pennsylvania, and of my cheerful involvement with the Save the Hotel movement. About a week earlier, we had the bright idea to use Black Friday to get our message out there a bit.

There ended up being about six of us there, on the sidewalk in front of the Hotel in full-on activist mode, during ~40F temperatures and strong winds. We passed out flyers, chanted a bit, and let people know what was going on.

The single thing that really sets this cause apart from the various other political movements I've publicly supported like that, is how universal the approval has been. Whether on the Internet, in person, in public, or in private, whenever I've described my position on something, there has always been a certain amount of backlash. That's all part of activism of course, and I'm always just as willing to hear others' sides of the issue as to describe mine. Debates are often a good thing. In this case, however, pretty much every last person I've encountered has been supportive of our plight. They just didn't know it was going on.

Once they find out, it's amazing the stories one hears back from people. People worked there, stayed there, heard the songs, seen the films, etc. The sheer amount of local grandparents that worked, played, or met each other there is staggering. (My own late grandfather reportedly worked there as a bellhop for a while.) And others just don't want to see yet another piece of the old city turn into yet another cold skyscraper full of billboards.

The rally went smoothly. A couple of journalists showed up and spoke with us. The public was highly supportive. Even the tour-bus-flyer guys, who at first seemed a bit peeved that we were hanging around their area, were supportive once they learned what we were up to.

Normally, whenever people hand out flyers on any NYC street corner, you'll find stacks of them in the adjoining corners' trash cans from folks who took them to be polite, and chucked them at the first opportunity. I checked when we packed up for the day, and there were about three in the trash out of the ~500 we handed out.

I still have the gloves. They're pleasantly warm.

November 25, 2007


Rob @ 3:42 PM

The people who you put into office are just like the people you see everyday on the street. They may wear ties and million dollar grins and PhDs and fraternity rings but they still possess the same irrational fears, insecurities, angers, and emotions that we all do. Unfortunately their brains are linked to a structure of power and thus have a much greater chance of affecting the outside world.

- Sergey

What does freedom mean to me? Largely, it means being able to be in my own skin and breathe, feel good about myself, and not be afraid. It means being able to sit and remember my life clearly, and what I felt all along. Freedom means being able to sit inside of myself and remember who I am without having to change what I think of myself because of pressure from outside of me. When I am free, I can relax and let feelings flow around and through me, happiness, sadness, giddiness, and everything else. When I am free, I can move my body as I please and speak without fear.

- Potpourrifae

Game music heaven

Rob @ 3:39 PM

Last night I happened upon Galbadia Hotel and their ridiculously extensive collection of video game music.

It just goes to show, everything balances out, and we always end up paying sooner or later. The downloads may be free, but now I'm buying a hard drive.

November 20, 2007


Rob @ 12:43 PM

Today's "people you used to really like suck" news comes courtesy of the Sonic Terrorism blog.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have chosen to sue the makers of a TV show called "Californication," because they made a song and album with the same name. As quoted on the BBC News article:

"For some TV show to come along and steal our identity is not right," said the band's singer, Anthony Kiedis.

He described Californication as "the signature CD, video and song of the band's career".

A) Leaving aside for the moment the fact that Kiedis just declared the RHCP CD, video, and song I disliked the most as the band's "signature," he seems to have forgotten that they did not invent the word. According to Wikipedia, it was popular in the 1970s, and apparently dates back to at least the 1940s.

2) I know nothing about the TV show, but apparently it premiered back in August, was hyped for long before that, and has been reasonably successful. Why would they have waited so long to sue? If they really had that sort of concern, you'd think they'd want to handle it early on.

d) Perhaps it's the vestiges of my once-rabid RHCP fandom which peaked in my middle school years, but I had really hoped they were just cooler than that.

November 18, 2007

Yay cuts!

Rob @ 7:40 PM

The MST3K/Film Crew/RiffTrax folks have a site at which lets you load any Youtube clip with pre-recorded heckling clips from the guys.

I've turned it loose on the Third Doctor.

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