Category Archives: barn stormer

Presidential Candidates as “Cool New People?”

If you’re like most Americans under the age of 40, you probably have a Myspace homepage that you check obsessively throughout the day. I, unfortunately, am one of these people. Recently, however, I noticed something that was too unlikely to be a coincidence. Go and see for yourself.

Go to the Myspace homepage. Not your personal Myspace homepage, but the generic one that is filled with advertisements and other spam. For the past two days in a row, I’ve noticed that among the “cool new people,” the third person listed is a candidate for the presidency. Coincidence? It must be, considering how far any of them would be from my description of cool new people.

Today there was the conspicuous head-shot of a white haired octogenarian named “Chris.” You quickly find out, upon clicking his link, that he is a Republican candidate for president named Chris Dodd.

Yesterday the third cool new person was “Mitt Romney,” next to Kristal and ❤ Sarah <3. I guess the advertisement people at Myspace believe that if they just move the name over the the third and last in the cool new people section, users won’t notice the the product placement. However, they have misunderestimated us.

Myspace is selling ads outside of traditional adspace and creating an environment where we live and breathe advertisements. Send a message to Myspace’s contact page telling them you don’t want spam in your cool new people section!!!!! Here is a link.

UPDATE: Joe Biden is up there now.

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Filed under ads, advertisement, advertising, anti-american, barn, barn stormer, barnstormer, candidate, candidates, cool new people, corporate, corruption, disgusting, greed, myspace, myspace.com, president, presidential, republican, republicant, sell-out, spam, stormer

Why Standing Up To Your Boss Works

Below is an email exchange between my girlfriend and her boss. She works an internship at a magazine twice a week for 5 hours each time, writes for her campus newspaper, works this job (that sucks and pays her meagerly) and is taking a full time, three class load. Her boss had the nerve to send her the following letter:

On 4/11/07, H.W.(the boss) wrote: Hi N.,

As you are now working split shifts of two- and three-hour intervals, it is not appropriate to eat lunch during that time. California law provides that employees must receive a 30-minute meal break if they work in excess of five hours.

It’s fine if you’d like to stay for a few minutes after you finish work at noon, or come in early before you resume working at 2 p.m.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions or questions.

Best, H.

My girlfriend, being the extremely intelligent and no-bullshit person that she is, promptly responded. She had been wanting to quit this job for months as the work was tough and her new boss was especially crabby. Instead of apologizing for eating her lunch at work, she responded with the following:

—–Original Message—–
From: N.E.

Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2007 8:00 AM

To: H.W., K.N., A.K.
Subject: Re: Work Thursday

Hi H.,

I appreciate your concern. I do have my own to contribute.

When I leave after my two hour shift, I go to class. I don’t have time to eat. On those days when my professor ends the class early, I will, for now on, take those minutes to eat lunch.

On the other hand, on those days when my professor doesn’t end the class early, it doesn’t take me more than ten minutes to eat lunch, and I usually can do it while I’m working. I do not think it interferes with my work or dampens my overall productivity. Furthermore, I think that an atmosphere where an activity like eating is not strictly monitored would allow for a more positive work environment simply because it gives me, or whoever is working, a sense of autonomy.

I understand that my past with !@#$% has been checkered. I’ve had quarters with frequent absences, I usually eat while I’m working, and I sometimes check my email a little too frequently. While interning for !@#$% has taught me a lot about marketing and publicity, I also feel over the past two quarters, I’ve stopped enjoying it as much. For that reason, I would like to resign.

Please inform me of how you would prefer I do it. I understand this resignation is mid-quarter and I would like to accommodate the two departments as much as possible. Thank you for listening,

N.

This was the response she got not long afterwards:

From: H. (the boss)
Date: Apr 12, 2007 12:07 PM
Subject: RE: Work Thursday
To: N.E.,
K.N., A.K.

Hi N.,

Thanks for your message and for helping us understand your feelings.

First, I’d like to apologize for my message regarding eating while on the job. It’s was unfair on my part, and I’m very sorry. We want you to enjoy your time with us and be comfortable having lunch, as well as taking personal calls and emails.

We’d very much like to work out something that might be agreeable to you within the dual aspects of the position. As I mentioned yesterday, our press mailings for the 06-07 season are complete and – thanks to your help – the clippings are, too. We really appreciate all that you contribute and for looking at the “bigger picture” while helping us with work that may not be as challenging for you.

Perhaps you might consider staying on to help Marketing? A.’s looking very much forward to speaking with you.

Kind regards, H.


This just goes to show that if you are being mistreated at work and believe yourself to be important to the company its your prerogative to stand up for yourself when threatened by your superiors. My guess is that when her other bosses saw the letter of resignation they made HW apologize for her letter. That’s why I love you, baby.

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House Approves Roves, Miers Subpoenas

TAKE THAT NEO-FASCISTS!

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Filed under alberto, attorney, barn, barn stormer, barnstormer, congress, dc, firings, gonzalez, government, harriet, house, karl, liar, liars, miers, neo-fascists, political, politics, president, representatives, rove, scandal, stormer, Uncategorized, washington

Black Snake Moan: Utter Shit-pile

by anti-folk hero

Let’s see, where can I begin to start talking about this horrible turd fest of a movie? Samuel L. Jackson plays a po’ boy farmer who is also a god-quoting blues revivalist. Christina Ricci is a complete nympho who gets heroin-withdrawal cravings for cock. She gets beat up and left by the side of the road, Samuel L. (or Laz, as he is called) finds her, puts her on the couch, goes into town, magically cures her cough, learns she’s a slut and then chains her to the radiator to “cure her” of her cock cravings. Sounds like it might be interesting, right?

Wrong. There are big patches of nothing, disconnected characters, and a whole mess of scenes that could easily be cut out (which would make this sucker run a bit more smoothly). Samuel L. can’t play the modest farmer for long, often displaying his machismo first by breaking a bottle on a pool table next to his brother’s head and then singing a blues song where he keeps saying “motherfucker” and talking about shooting somebody in the chest with a 44 (what original fare!). Add to this a whole slew of unnecessary characters, including: Ricci’s insane mother (who is unforgiving when confronted about letting her old boyfriends rape the young Ricci), Laz’s church-going-pharmacist-love-interest, a preacher, a bartender, a young boy, Ricci’s boyfriend (played by pretty boy Justin Timberlake, who spends most of his time on screen yelling, starting fights and generally trying to prove to the world that he isn’t a total pussy, when in fact he is exactly that, a pussy), a 300 pound black crack dealer and many more. The plot is non-existent, which leaves the movie as a poor attempt to reconcile a man who lost his wife, a woman who lost her ability to fuck everything that moves, and a poor attempt to revive the blues, and you have black snake moan.

The product placement was especially egregious. Gibson obviously paid someone on set to use only Gibson guitars for Samuel L. Jackson’s artificially applauded performances (where after each 30 second song, the entire house went completely bananas). His acoustic guitar was some brand new, clean, ridiculously expensive guitar, which was especially poorly placed as Laz was poor and had to sell vegetables off of the back of his truck. His electric was a disgusting magenta colored Gibson ES-335 with decals spelling out “L-A-Z” on the side of it. You know, to add authenticity. Yeah, like this podunk pea farmer would have a five thousand dollar custom shop magenta Gibson ES-335 sitting under his bed and be selling vegetables. Why don’t you just replace his tractor with an Escalade? The effect is the same.

All in all, this is a terrible movie with a sub par but completely expected performance from Samuel L (say “what” again) Jackson while Ricci’s part was hot and sexy but ultimately not interesting. I place the blame on the writer and director, however, who obviously couldn’t edit this diarrhea milkshake into something watchable.

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Yahoo.com – Republican Bias?

  by anti-folk hero

Yesterday, Yahoo! posted a story discussing Republican Senator John Sununu’s call for the dismissal of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The story was originally titled “GOP Senator Sununu calls for Gonzales’ dismissal,” but was changed within the hour to “Senator Sununu calls for Gonzales’ dismissal.” I think this is a blatant form of political pandering and shows that there is some kind of political authority at Yahoo! making sure that news stories don’t reflect badly on the Republican party. Disagree? Agree? Comment.

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My Crazy, Controlling Dad Explained

by anti-folk hero

Ah, fathers. Few have anything good to say about fathers. The best father/son relationships usually involved a father who taught his son to be just like him. The musician father with a musician son, the preacher father with a preacher son, etc. Then there are the loads of criminals in the world who claim to have been abused or neglected by their fathers. No matter what your relationship to your father was, however, one indisputable fact is that fathers have a tangible effect on their children no matter what they do. Whether that relationship is good or bad depends on the personalities of both people involved.

Let’s talk about my father for a minute. He is a very successful professional who is at the top of the company he works for. He has a team of elite, intelligent people working under him, doing his bidding, and generally just trying to profit off of his hard work. He financially supports my mother (whom he divorced over fifteen years ago and who still lives on alimony), sends his second kid to a private school for 30k a year, and is probably going to help me out when I eventually get into higher education later this year. Sounds like a great, helping, encouraging guy, right?

To be fair, he can be a great Dad. He got me into music by telling me stories about different musicians as I was growing up. He also forced me to start taking guitar lessons at age eleven even though I really didn’t want to. Almost everything he has ever predicted about my life or what would happen to me has been right on the money. So where is the issue in my relationship with him? My dad is a control freak. There is no better way to describe him. He has many personal insecurities that he cannot control that manifest themselves in negative behavior towards others. He’ll oftentimes be dead wrong about something and yet find justifications for why he is right and everyone else is wrong, often involving verbal and emotional abuse. He is aggressive, uncompromising, and decidedly uncooperative in just about everything. “My way or the highway” could be his personal philosophy.

Yet people still like him and deal with him. He has many friends, most of them through work, and he is well respected by his contemporaries. Now, you may be saying that I shouldn’t be so ungrateful, as he is giving me money for school. But at this point, I am sick of his money and sick of his shit.

An example: Today, I brought him a spreadsheet I had made outlining the costs of a cross-country trip to visit several of the schools I was accepted to. I laid out flight costs, dates, hotel prices, even trains prices from some cities back east back and forth. I got the absolute cheapest prices on flights that I could find (which is better than he could do). Upon sitting down in his office, he took the piece of paper to me, and then berated me for ten minutes about how stupid I was, how I should find the cheapest prices, insinuating that I was dumb and arbitrarily put up more expensive prices on purpose, and even accosting me for not realizing that flying to Ithaca is much more expensive than flying into Syracuse or Rochester instead (to save money). In the end, he has done nothing but yelled, complained, and generally insulted my intelligence in the most aggressive, mean-spirited way, and said nothing constructive at all. He had alienated me.

My father is a man at the utter whim of his moods. He can’t control himself. In many ways, a child has more control over the responses he chooses than my father does. If he has a bad day, he’ll be rude and contemptuous towards everyone around him. “This isn’t what I wanted for dinner!” he’ll shout at my step-mom. “I specifically told you that I only eat Norwegian potatoes, not these Idaho pieces of shit! You knew that! You’re just serving me these worthless, disgusting potatoes because you don’t listen. Maybe you should stop watching all of those idiotic TV shows and pay attention when I tell you these things. Its really not that hard to do.” Then, the same day, he’ll be half an hour late to a family dinner, forget about his son’s basketball game, and space out on a bunch of other shit entirely. HYPOCRITE.

This is my read on his personality. I see him as emotionally immature. Here is a person who has some serious insecurities that are deeply buried. He can’t control his fears and desires, so when he feels like he can’t control himself, he tries to control others. Being an intelligent person, he is quite successful in controlling other people. The effect, however, is that he alienates the people that care about him. He treats them like invaders or strangers and his attitude couldn’t be less inviting.

At this point in my life, I’m realizing that there are two paths I can take at this moment. If I take his money for college, I’ll be in a weaker position to call him on his bad moods and at the mercy of his bullshit. If I don’t take his money, I’ll have to take out monster-sized loans and repay them later in life. However, I would have my independence. What do you think? Is the independence worth it? Please share your stories about controlling friends or family members if you have them.

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The Politics of LA Tagging

by missus boobella

For the two or so years I’ve been living in Los Angeles (and despite my complaints, I consider myself a dedicated transplant), I’ve noticed an increase in tagging, especially but not limited to politically-minded tagging.

The tagging I’ve noticed isn’t just located in Southeast Los Angeles; it’s everywhere. Anti-folkhero, my lovely boyfriend, attributes the rise of tagging in West LA to local middle schools that bus in students. While I may not agree, it can’t be argued that 14 year olds may be the contributors of much of the graffiti around Los Angeles. Just read this article from the LA Times about a young student who tagged a bus while the mayor of Los Angeles was sitting inside.

My attitude towards tagging is conflicted. If 14 year olds are wandering the streets of Los Angeles with a can of spray paint, I do think whatever artistic credibility can be attached to adding some color to the city is better than ingesting drugs, though the two probably have a strong correlation.

I also realize that tagging is just the edge of a very large movement in art towards legitimizing what has often been considered debased and amateur, much like comic books have been making the shift towards literary recognition in the past 30 years. So large is the movement, there is no way I could address the artistic and cultural ramifications of ‘street art’ except to say that, as I’ve already said, I’ve been noticing more and more of it on the streets of Los Angeles.

Below are some samples. First, standard tagging on Main Street in Santa Monica. This wall faces a main intersection and was originally painted to imitate, I guess, the front of a Mexican home. I took this picture because this intersection is in a nice area of Santa Monica, if there even is such a thing as a bad area in Santa Monica.

Standard Tagging

A few weeks ago, there was a protest on Westwood Blvd against the possibility of military action in Iran. I’ve read statistics that Iranians comprise around 30% of the population of Westwood; and Los Angeles has the largest population of Iranians outside of Iran. The day after the protest, I noticed these:

Don’t Bomb Iran Electrical

Don’t Bomb Iran Bench

What I find interesting about these two tags is the question of who spray-painted the messages? I watched part of the protest and the majority of those walking the street were elderly Iranians. It was led, as far as I could tell, by an old Iranian man in a wheelchair, flag of Iran proudly in hand. Whoever tagged this was not the 14 year old boy who scribbled an indecipherable word onto a bus window.

Finally, for some comedic value, Anti- found this message on our garbage dump. Behind his apartment is a long alley that stretches much of the length of Little Santa Monica, and has been home to countless wandering homeless. We’ve also noticed infrequently young boys running around with pellet guns and expensive zip up hoodies. They might be the culprit of the surrounding tags; but the street artist responsible for the centerpiece of this picture? Probably a neighbor in his or her early twenties would be my guess.

Tagging Ghetto

I would like to agree with whoever added that sweet little message to the ongoing conversation on our garbage dump, but judging by the emergence of these kinds of artistic endeavors as ‘street art’, it may not necessarily be true. Just look at Swindle Magazine, a magazine begun by Shepard Fairey and Roger Gastman, both graffiti artists of different sorts. Or check out this exhibition in Brooklyn about graffiti art. Examples of the rising legitimacy of ‘street art’ is abundant and indicative of a different truth: tagging may very well get you out of the ghetto.

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Filed under barn, barn stormer, barnstormer, graffiti, iran, iranian, la, los angeles, politics, stormer, taggin, tagging, west la, west los angeles, westwood