Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Measure of a Juan


The high point of my Photoshop career.

The first ever
Trapper Juan Crappily Photoshopped Sombrero Award (TJCPSA forthwith) goes to none other than Clay Aiken and his militaristic-yet-pleasant "Claynation." Let me explain myself.

On a typical day, this POS blog averages between 100 and 150 hits. Even more typically, 75 or so of those hits are just me reloading the page over and over to see if photos or links or whatever show up. Simply, no one ever really visits this rag, save for my peoples linked on the right and pervs searching for naked pictures of Constance Marie (blame
this post). This is all totally fine with me--I just write in here for the fun of it, nothing more.

This past Sunday, I made a generally pointless post about the Clay Aiken/Kelly Ripa nontroversy, fully expecting it to not get any feedback whatsoever. I was real, real wrong. In the hours following the posting, this blog received
1695 hits, along with a slew of Claymate comments you can feel free to read below. Unprecedented! Holy shit.

I had no idea Clay fans were so, for a lack of a better term, gangsta. (I really wish I wasn't lacking a better term at this juncture, but so it goes.) Although I think Ripa (or "Ripacrite," as y'all have taken to calling her) reacted completely inappropriately, I'd be lying if I said I was a fan of the dude's music. I'm just not, you know? His charity work garners obvious kudos, and he seems like a stand-up dude, but his songs? Meh. No offense. Regardless, I find the Claynation's ability to mobilize and work off a shared agenda seriously impressive. And here I thought Michael Jackson fans were so serious. If Clay ever shot for public office or something, I'm pretty sure he'd win based on Claymate poll turnout alone. Hypothetically speaking, the dude could run on a purely sociopathic
"death to Sharp-Pei puppies in sneakers" platform, and I'm pretty sure he'd still oust any pathetic incumbent foolhardy enough to avoid concession before the primary.

That's not to say you Clay people are mindless lemmings. Nothing of the sort. On the contrary, I'm liking the idea that you know what and who you like, and you stick with that shit. Good for y'all. The sincerity of it all is endearing, I gotta admit. I don't really like Clay, and I don't think I ever will. I'm not gonna preorder the guy's albums, and I'm not gonna go see him on tour. I'll probably flip the channel if he comes on the TV. But as long as you keep Clayin' it up, I'll be fine with giving credit where credit is due.


By the way: I'm changing this here blog's name to Trapper Clay, and I'm only going to write about Aiken-related topics from here on out. Just FYI.


********




My favorite linky image, courtesy of
Clay Aiken: The Ideal Idol. Sorry for the strong language. I wish I knew how to replicate the blinking "new!" font.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Clay > Mother Teresa



The Claynation does not play. Some YouTuber/Clay Aiken fanatic has put together this video, which plays up Clay's charity work as a response to Kelly Ripa's recent freakthefuckoutfornoreason. I knew Clay was into philanthropy and all that, but damn, this video makes him out to be the greatest human being in all of recorded history. Honestly, it does seem like his heart's in the right place, but no amount of charity work is gonna help me forget that bloodcurdling rendition of "Vincent" he did on the Idol way back when. I ain't been able to look at shadows on the hills, trees and/or daffodils the same since.

Some of my favorite highlights noted below:


[:38]
Clay and Jessica Simpson combine efforts to wrest a defenseless child from the arms of Ronald McDonald.
[:59]
Clay has lobbied on Capitol Hill?! Actually impressive. Nice work.
[1:31]
Something about Clay speaking out against bullying. I couldn't focus, as my attention was drawn to his sweater, which is a Faded Glory/Cherokee version of the beautiful outfits in House of Flying Daggers.
[2:19]
Clay's rendition of...you know, I don't know what that's Clay rendition of.
[2:40]
Clay is shown kneeling contemplatively in a room full of sleeping African children covered in what appear to be American Eagle sweaters.
[2:47]
"Clay's hands have counted and sorted beans." (?)
[3:11]
RECORDER FACE!

In the end, only kindness matters.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving



To commemorate this esteemed American holiday, please read
"Executioner's Song" by Rachel Frankford in this week's City Paper. It's bloody brilliant.

PETA, don't bomb me.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Brought to you by San Miguel



My mom's from the Philippines. Even though I'm but a half-blood Pinoy who was born and raised in the states, I take a certain amount of pride in seeing Filipino people excel in any given field. I celebrate Rufio's entire catalogue, root for the cute but woefully talentless Cassie, tip my cap to DJ Babu and so forth. But I'm convinced that, when we're talking Filipino superstars/proletariat galvanizers, no one can come even remotely close to the roving, ridiculous living legend that is Manny "Pacman"* Pacquiao.

The super featherweight brawler
pretty much ended Erik Morales' career on Saturday night. They'd met twice in the past two years; Morales won the first match, Manny the second. Watch the third (and final) round of the latest fight here. Kinda reminds me of the TKO call ("meek-make-mo") when you knocked down Don Flamenco, Great Tiger or whoever three times in Punch-Out. Fighting prowess aside, the guy's a freaking agenerational sensation, and Filipino mothers probably chuck their daughters at him when he walks down the street. Dude can certainly fight, and he's marketable to boot. But, in my opinion, his fists and footwork aren't what make him so fascinating.

Filipino culture works off a unique amalgam of Hispanic and Asian traditions. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the culture's gender relations, both in the motherland and within Filipino-American families. Ostensibly, the Philippines is a patriarchal society comparable to many Asian cultures: men run the show and love the fact that they do, basking in the glory of victory and sulking in the humilation--essentially, emasculation--of defeat. For everyday proof of this, try going out to dinner with a group of older Filipino men. The macho bickering over who will pay the bill will last well past dessert.


The one major caveat to this dynamic is that it's completely, utterly erroneous. Everyone--and I mean everyone--knows that women truly run the show. It's understood by all, but rarely spoken. It's here that one can draw many parallels between Filipino culture and Mexican culture--men can often come off brash, cocksure and languid, while women (mothers) are perhaps the biggest reason people view both countries as strongly family-centric. Now's a good time to point out that two of the last four Filipino presidents have been women. (The
last man to hold the office was impeached.)

Pacquiao's fighting style is more or less a character study of Filipino masculinity--he's undersized but freakin' relentless, a headstrong, balls-to-the-wall risktaker fond of throwing endless strings of all-over-the-place punches without much regard for his own wellbeing. He's how I'd imagine Ron Artest to be if he was a, uh, boxer. Maybe that's not a good example. Scratch Artest for Bruce Bowen. Anyways, he's also known as a hardcore partier and a rumored womanizer who has been criticized for valuing the limelight over glory on the canvas. Of course, since he's 43-3-2, no one really gives a fuck.


I'm not suggesting that all Filipino (or Mexican) men are boorish, misogynistic assholes who undervalue the contributions females make to society. All I'm saying is I can completely understand why Pacquiao is such a unbridled sensation. Cliche alert: he's more than just a boxer. He represents all the things that many Filipino men hold in high regard, but are often unable to achieve due to a number of forces: fame, bravado, success, domination over all comers. He's a lighter-skinned Jack Johnson, a darker-skinned James J. Braddock. Now that people finally feel comfortable calling him one of the best in the world, pound for pound, I don't really see anything changing for better or worse. Just trust that he'll continue to encapsulate the quirks and qualms that make the Philippines the Philippines.


Then again, maybe I'm just overthinking all this. Go 'head, Manny. We're fucking proud of you. Keep the hits coming.


* No apologies to Adam "Pacman" Jones.


********


In typical Filipino fashion, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo laid the melodrama on thick with her statement after Pacquiao's victory. "My heart beats with extreme joy with another victory for the Philippines ... we all gathered around in our homes and places of work, in the streets and farms to pray for Manny. Manny will always be our hero, the bearer of the Filipino dream of winning the good fight in all fields of human endeavour. He will always be the people's champ*."


* Apologies to Paul Wall.


********


A few ridiculous tidbits gleaned from
Pacquiao's Wiki page:

-
THE UNDERTAKER was part of his entourage during his 2005 fight against Hector Velazquez.
- He qualified for the final stages of the Philippine 9-Ball Open.

- He owns the PacMan Gensan basketball team, and has even played in a few games for them.

- He totally drinks 10-K.* That's not actually on there, but it pretty much has to be true, what with all his athletic endeavors.

-
Batista is half Filipino? Whaaaaaa?

* If anyone can find an online version of that old 10-K commercial where that alpha-kid plays 10 games (10 different sports) in one day and dominates all of them, please let me know.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Holy flying knees/elbows

Via the perpetually informed Adam Riff:

The trailer for Kon Fai Bin, aka Dynamite Warrior, a Muay Thai Western (!). From Prachya Pinkaew, writer/director of Ong-bak. (Strangely, it's not listed on his IMDB page. Jon?) Quoth the YouTube commenters:

A. "BOOYA!"

B. "dope on ice"

C. " Let's hope the movie isn't a two trick pony, the trailer is just rockets and spinning kicks over and over."

D. " Looks like a martial arts Muay Thai film. Pretty sweet stuff."


a. I have no problem with this comment.

b. This one either. Neither.

c. You've obviously never watched a martial arts flick.

d. This guy seems good at identifying martial arts flicks, provided he's given a few clues (all the actors are Asian, they're fighting each other in a highly stylized manner, every single piece of on-screen verbiage is written in the Thai alphabet, etc.) D, give C your e-mail.


(I'm curious: whose commenters are worse, IMDB's or YouTube's?)


Monday, November 13, 2006

Longest bathroom break ever


........

And I'm back. Feelin' good.

I was checking out the Wiki page for
The Wire the other day, and I came across the character summary for Snoop, who's obviously the gulliest member of Marlo's squad. (See the episode where she fucking shot some dudes just because they didn't know who Young Leek was? Amazing.) Apparently, Stephen King's a fan of the show, and considers her "perhaps the most terrifying female to ever appear in a television series." A pretty serious endorsement, considering that it's coming from the guy who wrote, uh, you know.

Shudder.


Is anyone else seriously unnerved by Stephen King? My most vivid thoughts of him pertain to the time he got
ran over by a van, and just acted real bitter about the shit, going so far as to buy the van and tell Terry Gross that he wanted to pulverize it with a sledgehammer. C'mon King, people get hit by cars all the time. For example, in the past two weeks, two of our esteemed bike-riding City Paper interns were in vehicular mishaps of some consequence. Will got rocked by a cab door, and Sam was just run the fuck over. The driver gave Sam $20 and a bag of pretzels to make up for his carelessness.

Ever hear the one about how Cowboys wideout coach Todd Haley's wife and babysitter "became violently ill and endured long-lasting physical injuries" after eating a McDonald's salad
with a "roof rat" in it? It's a doozy. I have no idea why the Philly sports media didn't pick up on this more; it seems to be the perfect vehicle for Dallas-bashin'. This shit would've never happened if they hadn't done away with salad shakers.

I heart pit bulls, so I was searching for, ahem, cute pit bull puppy videos on YouTube the other day. Getthefuckoutmyface. Anyway, I found
this clip. It's kinda long (you know YouTube has permanently tainted your concept of brevity when 4:25 is long), but please take note of the melodramatic captioning/horrible Evanescence song juxtaposed with pictures of funny, funny dogs.

Shoutout to
Nick Norlen for bringing They Live to my attention. 1) Why haven't I seen this movie before? 2) Where can I get this movie? 3) Who is watching this movie with me once I get this movie? Also, Nick has the distinction of being the only person who can make me feel legitimately bad about enjoying Deal Or No Deal, which I'm totally watching right now. The current contestant is some obnoxious cop with a horrible NY accent that looks a lot like John Rocker. He's the first person I've ever wholeheartedly rooted against.

So the frat guys skewered in
Borat are now suing 20th Century Fox, claiming that he/they made 'em look stupid. For the record, Borat did not force you, against your will, to suggest that the country would be a better place if slavery was reinstated. That was all y'all.

Two earthshattering discoveries via the dregs of MySpace:
1 2

Lastly, be sure to holler at the good people of
The Foundation. They're on the up and up and up. Also, I write a bit for them. Shh.