Five Things: 12/5/13

Gosh, it’s gonna be a balmy 18 degrees today in Chicago..down considerably from the upper-50s we had yesterday. Welcome to winter, now bend over.

1) SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION TIME: The app I’ve been working on for the past few months goes LIVE today. It’ll be available for FREE on iTunes for iPad and iPhone. Android’ll happen in early ’14. This is a very cool app, folks. It’s like Pandora/Spotify but for news. Yes, you can customize the news you want to hear. Right now, we’re mainly Chicago-centric, BUT we do national and world stories. Soon, we’ll be moving to Dallas, LA and the rest of the major markets.
The best part? You’ll get to hear my dulcet tones–especially later today AND this weekend.

2) Oh, for fuck’s sake, CNN, get it RIGHT. You’re a frickin’ media company with some pretty smart people working there (supposedly). How difficult is it to check your work?

(via Media Matter for America)

(via Media Matter for America)

None of this would’ve happened had they hired ME some four years ago.

Yes, I’m that good.

3) Could English pig jizz be the answer to China’s problems? Well, for some of them anyway. (via the Guardian)

UK and China agree £45m pig semen export deal

Environment secretary Owen Paterson says he has also begun negotiations to export pigs’ trotters to China
I’ll translate. Chinese pigs aren’t that great–they suck, in fact–so the Chinese are seeking the help of Brit pigs and their super sperm to make the Chinese ones better.
Or, you can just read about it here.
Side note: UK porcine semen is an excellent name for a punk band filled with has-beens, OR for an ’80s tribute band.
4) Couple of things here…why would any woman want to become a virgin again? Why? Because losing your virginity was so much fun the first time? Give me a break. You know it sucked, so why go through it again? Y’all do realize there are some ethnic groups in this world that cut up the whoo-haas of young girls to make sure they remain a virgin, right? ‘Tis a little thing called genital mutilation. It’s forced too.
Second, I don’t know if this is real, but it’s fucking funny.
Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 7.39.49 AM
For those of you gals who like a challenge, and are all about reliving your youth, but not in the typical way, this may be for you.
5) One of my muses. Enjoy.

 

Five for Friday: September 20, 2013

So, I’m going to continue with this Five Things idea for a bit to see where it takes me.

1) I got this little gem via a journo listserv I’m a member of.

“An unnamed digital media company in Chicago seeks stories at $7 a pop.”

I’ll keep the next few sentences simple since I’m sure you’re also in a state of shock due to what you just read. We want four AP style stories a day with a word count hovering around 400 per story. Great communication skills are a must. Please send your resume and 4 clips to fuckthewriter@bohica.com.

After I fashioned a bag of ice over my sore noggin (it’s sore from banging it against the wall after reading the listserv email), I tried to imagine the level of the mind that believes it’s okay to pay a writer a measly $7/post. Why the hell not? Them’s just words! Anyone can do it! You know, that makes total sense so sign me up!

I’d rather eat ground glass.

2) I wanna know the methodology that was used for this study.

Penis Map Of The World Exposes Weenie Size In Each Country

Plus, ain’t it kinda a cool that dong size has little to do with potency? See, that’s how it’s done denizens of certain South American and African countries. Not only are the Indians and Chinese kicking our asses in so many other ways, their wee schvantzes are helping to produce shitloads of humans to ensure that they’ll be kicking our asses for generations to come. In other words, size ain’t an issue … in some instances.

(via rosalie-schweiker.wikispaces.com)

(via rosalie-schweiker.wikispaces.com)

3) This is real. Not kidding.

(via Inquisitr.com)

(via Inquisitr.com)

It’s the latest Boeing 777 in Eva Air’s fleet of flying machines. Eva Air, by the way, is the Taiwanese airline. You can get in touch with your inner-confused hipster who sports ironic tats, facial hair, piercings and fedoras, by taking one of the three flights between Taipei and Los Angeles each week. Then, you can Instagram it, put pix of you acting all goofy inside the plane on one of your many Tumblrs, then get a tat of the plane on your lower back.

4) Now, this tat was on a “20 Tattoos That You Should Get Removed” page. I’m confused though–I don’t see what the problem is.

(via RedCastle83)

(via RedCastle83)

5) Aaaaaaaaaaaand I’ll just leave this here. Enjoy!

China Syndrome

First, some business. For those of you who missed it, I was on Chicago Public Radio’s “The Morning Shift” on August 16th discussing my article about Vivian Maier’s copyright. You can hear my dulcet tones if you so desire. 

Oh, and accept no substitutes for my story. In this case, I don’t consider plagiarism a form of flattery. It’s quite the opposite, really.

Onward.

And we’re off!

My fellow Americans, China is kicking our ass when it comes to odd news. It’s embarrassing, but not surprising since China is the largest country on Earth. Odds are with the Chinese that they’re gonna have weird shit happen in their homeland, not just on a daily basis, but hourly too.

A big hat tip to ChinaSMACK for these stories. And to the Chinese for being as weird and whacky as the rest of the humans here.

Nurse in Hunan Tapes Sign to Newborn’s Face: ‘Lump of Shit’

(photo courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

(photo courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

First, I’d love to write the heds for this publication. I liken it to writing for the Chinese version of the New York Post or The Weekly World News.

When baby Hao Hao was born in June, his parents couldn’t be happier. He’s a male baby born in China after all! China IS the country that’s beaming with pride over its zero population growth, scorn for baby girls, one child policy, and sky-high abortion rate. So, when wee Hao Hao suddenly got sick, it was discovered that one of the nurses had an issue with the wee Asian bairn, and decided to inject him with something that caused him to hemorrhage. You know that’s bad, right? At some point after the injection, to the baby shitting hisself and getting sicker and sicker, the nurse taped the “Lump of shit” note on his noggin. According to the nurse, it was all a big, fat egg roll of a misunderstanding. Turns out, Chinese nurses dig on taping obnoxious notes on one another — you know– to pass the time before they’re forced to return to their gulag-esque living quarters. The baby got in the way and the rest is history. Gotta get your laughs somewhere I guess. Who knew that was even possible in China.

Civil Servant at Work Leaves Phone Off the Hook, Eats Pear

Well, a gal’s gotta eat sometimes.

(courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

(courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

‘Being 30 and Unmarried Should be Illegal and Punished!’

There are over a billion people in China, and they couldn’t find anything else to report on?

(courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

(courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

Not being married by a certain age is one of the few lifestyle choices that is not illegal in China. According to legal experts, what this old man was yammering about is a ‘moral issue.’

That settles it then.

Edward Snowden should be thrilled he’s not Chinese.

Oops.

And…

Schoolboys Use Their Shadows to Shade Girls From Hot Sun

My fave sub head in this story: Boys praised as usually being naughty, but having a sense of responsibility at the key moment

It’s hot in China is August, so the normally naughty boys at this particular school, rose to the occasion and shaded their sweltering sisters from the blinding sun. 

(courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

(courtesy of ChinaSMACK)

Finally …

Government Cracks Down on Organized Online Rumormongering

Good luck getting through this graf. It’s one helluva sentence.

“Recently, Beijing police, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Security and in accordance with reports by the masses, began prosecution according to the law to bring down an internet marketing company that deliberately manufactures and disseminates rumors maliciously infringing upon other people’s reputations in order to illegally reap economic benefit — Beijing Erma Interactive Marketing Planning Limited Company (hereinafter referred to as Erma Ltd), and has arrested Qin Zhihui (online name “秦火火” [literally "Qin Hot Hot", suggesting the ability to make things popular], male, 30 years old, born in Hunan Province Hengnan County Xianghua Village, high school education, and former Erma Ltd employee), Yang Xiuyu (online name “立二拆四” [literally "erect two demolish four"], male, 40 years old, born in Jilin Province Baishan City Qidaojiang Town, and founder of Erma Ltd), and another 4 members of the company.”

I wanna know what exactly “Erect Two Demolish Four” is erecting then demolishing. Hmm.

 

 

Where Oh Where Is McCrabass?

Contrary to what you read on the bathroom stalls, I am alive and well. I’ve just been a titch busy.

A tasty gem of a tome has been tossed into my lap by my pal, Andrew Huff, over at Gaper’s Block. I can’t give details at the moment, but when it’s done, y’all will be the first to know.

Also, I’m getting my act together and taking it on the podcast road–so to speak. It’ll be based on my blog and other topics that interest both the host (me) and the various co-hosts I’ve tapped to help me out (Charlie Meyerson, Monroe Anderson, Andrew Huff, Ranjit Souri & others to be named when I get up the courage to ask them). Due to the monumental amount of time that has passed since I’ve dealt with anything audio-wise, I’m in the process of educating my gin-soaked noggin regarding the equipment needed to make this whole thing a success. Word on the street is this podcast could be some sort of underground sensation with my handful of readers.

Why am I doing a podcast, you ask? Well, I’m bored, out of work, and have grown weary of trying to count my freckles. Oh and I have lots to say. I’m not looking to make money, I’m looking to have fun.

This is Chicago, after all, and there’s lots going on here–and elsewhere–to talk about. Especially if the news continues along these lines.

See you soon!

 

 

Rut City, Population: Me

I’m fried. Burned out. Toast. Beat to a pulp. Dead behind the eyes. Numb.

And I haven’t done anything physically taxing. It doesn’t make sense.

I’m suffering from knowing that I have no purpose, nothing to offer and nothing to show for my roughly four decades on this rock.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Being unemployed blows fucking donk.

It has zapped my energy, my will to create as well as my will to be out among the living. Sure, teeny, tiny freelance gigs trickle in from time to time, but that ain’t enough to put the thoughts of tri-state crime sprees out of my noggin. I listen to my friends bitch, whine and moan about their jobs, and I have to turn off all of my impulses to fucking throttle them with my she-woman strength.

There are times when I feel like this character from Game of Thrones, is hiding in the  surprisingly under-utilized section of my soul–she’s a loyal, badass who will fuck you up if you cross her.

Brienne of Tarth (courtesy of pandawhale.com)

Brienne of Tarth (courtesy of pandawhale.com)

A bit maudlin, I know, but I’m allowed. I still scroll through shitloads of job leads every day. Some I apply to, others get trashed.

Then, there are those job leads that cause me to utter aloud WHAT THE ENTIRE FUCK??

Don’t believe me? Here, check out this gem from a Houston all news-all the time-radio station.

Enjoy.

jobdescription

The actual requirements for the job–news editor/managing editor–were much shorter, see. And, they were typical news editor/ME duties like solid news judgment, assignment desk duties, AP Style knowledge, etc. When I read this list of “requirements” my first thought was, “Huh, yeaaaahhh…aren’t these requirements for being a well-adjusted adult?”

Not so fast.

So, as the news editor/ME, I wouldn’t be allowed to do my job–which entails being direct, sometimes demanding and expecting professionalism at all costs–but I’m not really allowed to express what I want for fear of hurting feelings or putting someone off.

I did send them a resume/cover letter combo platter and here’s a snippet of what I wrote, but nicer.

I’m a seasoned professional who is capable of working with others under stressful situations, and I expect that out of my colleagues as well. I’m tough, but fair because I realize that the news business is not always so. As for ‘evolving self-awareness’ — if you can explain what that is exactly, you’ll be able to hire whomever you choose.”

Of course, they called me.

Turns out, they have no clue about anything, and want tons of experience for roughly 9 bucks/hour and no (surprise!) relocation expenses paid even though this was advertised on a NATIONAL journo jobs website. A friend pointed out to me that the previous news editor/ME probably either got fired, or quit because he/she was doing their job, and not playing wet nurse to a bunch of fucking over-sensitive, pants-wetting, maladjusted dipshits.

Yeaaah … I’m gonna have to give you a big, fat NO.

The bigger picture here is this is what I am (and the millions of other US citizens who are unemployed) up against: These wish lists of skills put together by completely clueless hiring managers and HR departments who don’t know what they hell they’re talking about. I was recently asked to take geometry/algebra test for an editing job.

Yep, I shit you not.

I said no, then told the hiring manager that if I was going to be eliminated from consideration, is should be on a level playing field. I told her that testing me on something I haven’t done in almost 30 years is grossly unfair. She agreed and I didn’t have to take the test. I interviewed, and we’ll see if I get a call back.

Back to Houston, care to wager that they have an incredibly high turnover rate?

PS–I’ll be in NYC next week, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say. So, watch this space.

All Is Right With the World Again

Really, Jules? How can you say this–especially after you experienced a quick & painful hiccup in your non-existent career yesterday?

iggy_pop_and_the_stooges-hollywood_palladium_ACY6879

Well, here’s why.

From Rolling Stone.

Iggy Pop and the Stooges Ready New Album for April Release

‘Ready to Die’ features guitarist James Williamson, drummer Scott Asheton

Now, this makes me smile.

See, my three readers, 2013 was starting to look like yet another shitty year for McCrabass until I heard this news. I saw Iggy a long time ago in LA and it was quite the show–he was loud, crude-as-fuck and just plain out of control. It was one of the best times I’ve ever experienced standing up. I mean, I almost tossed my granny knickers at him, but was afraid he’d put them on and they’d be too big. He’s alluring in an ugly-sexy kinda way–if that makes any sense.

So, when I heard my favorite skanky, blue-eyed boy & the Stooges were releasing an album–some 40 years after the last one with James Williamson and Scott Asheton–I did a slow nod and muttered to my empty living room “Niiiice.” Yeah, very un-Iggy-esque but I gave up heroin before I even started and my leathers are being repaired.

IggyPopStooges

Iggy Pop and the Stooges are ready with a new record, Ready to Die, which will mark the first time Pop has worked with guitarist James Williamson and drummer Scott Asheton on a full album since their 1973 classic Raw Power. As he’s done since the Stooges’ 2003 reunion, Mike Watt will fill in for the late Ron Asheton on bass. It’ll be Iggy and the Stooges’ first album since 2007’s The Weirdness, which was the last to feature Ron Asheton. Ready to Die is due April 30th on Fat Possum Records.

I don’t like to wish my life away, but April 30th can’t come soon enough. That’s kind of sad–I’m sliding down Crap Mountain again and I’m looking forward to an album release like I’m some sort of love-struck teenie bopper.

I need a do-over.

 

 

Natty Dreadlocks + McCrabass = Employment?

One of the amazing things about employment–mainly the people I know who have jobs–is how easy they seem to not only get jobs–but how they seem to move effortlessly from one high paying job to the next.

I guess most of these folks are deserving of these jobs and I’m happy for them (well not really), but what is glaringly obvious in this city is employers keep pulling from the same talent pool.

What creases me is these employers around these parts are not real keen on taking chances on folks who may have the drive, the will to work their asses off and the smarts to do a good job, but not the honor of having a name or an ‘in’, or comparable experience but not the exact experience.

This isn’t working for me. I find the media world in Chicago to be impenetrable, unless timing is on your side and you have a pocketful of great connections. It reminds me of the nepotism that permeates Hollywood, but with people who need to know something about all subjects, not just about making movies.

Call me crazy, but that myopic attitude doesn’t bode well for the future of media in this town.

Let’s take a gander at what has been polluting my RSS feed lately. There has been so much good stuff, but this one really caught my attention.

Man’s Hair Shaved Off And Stolen At Party, Dreadlock Thefts Rise In South Africa

Now, I understand that there are women in India who sell their beautiful, jet-black locks so that broads here in the US can have secksy long hair, but dreadlocks? I mean, aren’t hard-core dreads made out of shit, dirt (hair, natch) and other glue-like substances that cause the follicles to stick together?

Maybe it’s a ‘black thing’? I dunno. Perhaps this article from News One can explain it best, because White Girl Pearl here is at a loss.

Man’s Hair Shaved Off And Stolen At Party, Dreadlock Thefts Rise In South Africa

“Zimbabwean Mutsa Modonko experienced the epitome of a bad hair day when he was partying at a Johannesburg, South Africa, nightclub. After 10 years of growing his dreadlocks, friends at the party found him passed out with his head cleanly shaven, and according to Johannesburg’s Times Live, stealing dreadlocks is becoming a growing trend.”

Zimbabwean.. Zimbabwean.. say that word 10 times fast whilst drunk and speaking with a Cockney drawl. Then, do it again but this time in Pig Latin. It’s super fun!

“Natural hair and dreadlocks are huge business in South Africa.  The locks can be sold as hair extensions and can typically go for as much as $275, depending on the length.  As a matter of fact, the demand for the matted locks is so high that patrons often will not even question where the hair came from.”

Oh no, why would anyone want to question a product that is about to be sewn into their noggin? Hmm..this is kinda like a Brazilian waxologist who uses recycled muslin strips that are filled with a week’s worth of pubes. You’re welcome for that image, by the way.

“Hairstylist John Wushe, who owns a Johannesburg salon told Times Live, “They are becoming very popular. On a busy day we get about 10 people [wanting] to extend their hair.”

The stolen hair can be weaved on to the head of a male or female, whereas before, synthetic hair had been used for eons. The typical weaving-in process can take up to two hours and can be woven on to the head using a crochet hook or needle and thread.  A stylist can charge up to about $170 to weave in the dreadlocks.

(courtesy of BlackPlanetNext.com)

(courtesy of BlackPlanetNext.com)

Although there appears to be numerous dreadlocks thefts, according to Johannesburg police, they have thus far received only one such report that came through last year.  Johannesburg police spokesman Captain John Maluleka told Times Live his department encourages residents to file police reports over such hair thefts, but he thinks their hesitation can be attributed to just sheer embarrassment.

In most of the cases, dreadlock thieves are zeroing in on the fairer sex, and according to Randburg hairstylist Lebo Masimong, he says, it is because women appear to be easier targets, “You are an easy target if you walk around the CBD (central business district) and your hair is loose. They don’t care about your money or fancy phone. They are only after your hair.”

What this story fails to tell us is how these thieves get the dreads–do they knock victims down then start shaving? Do they drug them then start shaving away? What kind of equipment do they use? Is there a middleman? Are they incorporated? What other bennies do they get? What are the hours? Are there promotions? Exactly what IS a promotion in this particular field?

I gotta know because I need a job and this might be a whole new thing for me.