Category Archives: i hate teh internetz

songs you don’t know: Hatsume Miku, “World Is Mine”

The song isn’t important here – it’s basically random Japanese pop.   The clip, however, is.   It’s a rare day when one actually catches a glimpse of the future – and, for better or for worse, this is probably the future.  The horrible future.  The horrible, hideous, no-good future.

No, seriously, watch this.

Yeah.  I know.

However, just imagine the possibilities if this technology was ever used for good.

By which I obviously mean: George Harri-Gram and John LennonBot.

Oh, who am I kidding?  You know who the first dead celebrity’s gonna be that they drag, kicking and screaming back from the grave to dance for our pleasure?  I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two don’t count.

Apparently, Michael Jackson had his body scanned during the ’90s, and I don’t mean by the police, looking for “identifying marks” 0n his naughty bits.  No, he had his body literally turned into a hologram.   There was even a rumor, last year, that the big series of concerts MJ was supposed to play in London before he died would happen after all… in holographic form, anyway.

Whether you think watching Holo-MJ dancing with Real Justin Timberlake would be an awesome way to spend an evening or not… I think it’s safe to say that the future has landed with a horrid thud.




mr. fancy-pants rock star tells us how to be big n’ famous like him

I think this may be Photoshopped from a picture of Borat, but whatever.

Nine Inch Nails monopticon Trent Reznor recently posted a list of awesome ideas for artists to get super-successful using the Web, and it makes a hell of a lot of sense.   Anyone with a blog, YouTube series, webcomic, band, photoblog, or anything remotely creative should print this out and paste it next to wherever they do their creative interwebs stuff.

His points make a lot of sense.  This really is a weird new world and, so long as you can create a solid base, you’re probably going to make a lot more money from merchandising than you are off of your actual artwork.  Amanda Palmer recently blogged about a spontaneous Twitter conversation that led to the spontaneous production of a spontaneous CafePress T-Shirt that netted her about $19,000 in one night, although to be fair, she (and Mr. Reznor) already have a pretty solid fanbase, and it’s unlikely you or I are going to score mad cash off of our sweet new T-shirt slogan (“What Do Fratboys Wash Their Hair With?  Natural Bro-tanicals!”) until we, too, amass an army of screaming teenagers in black tights.

Anyway, Janko on GigaOM weeded through The Trent’s original post, and came up with Five Important Points that make as much sense for YouTubers or Flash artists as they do for bands.  You’re not going to make any money off your content, you’re going to make your money off of a fanbase that likes your content enough to support it by buying t-shirts and things.  The Brothers Chaps were able to quit their jobs and spend all day making Strong Bad and Homestar cartoons because people kept buying their schwag (I’m thinking of them because I’m wearing my old Strong Bad shirt today.)  And you’re going to build a fanbase by giving your stuff away for free.  Crazy, right? 

The folksiest Web 2.0 pioneer there ever was.

Except… hasn’t public broadcasting essentially operated off of this principle for years?  We’ll give you quality programming for free, and if you like it, you’ll support us with your donations, and you’ll “buy” our tote bags and This Old House mugs and DVD collections of Miss Marple.  That’s right, fellow New Englanders – Fritz Wetherbee and Elaine Pasternack over at New Hampshire Public Television were doin’ the new media revenue thing twenty years before anyone.   As Trent says, any song you could possibly want is only a click away, so music and media are now free no matter what we do.   You want to make money as an artist?  Embrace it.


Posted by on July 12, 2009 in i hate teh internetz, music, not here, politics


life, seventeen syllables at a time

You may have heard of this thing, it is called “Twitter“, where people share their innermost confessions, feelings, and bon mots with the world at 140 characters or less.   About a year ago, I derided it for being, basically, useless.  (“Going to the fridge to get a popsicle.” “Unwrapping popsicle.” “Popsicle tasty and cold.” “Stick has amusing joke on it: what do u call a horse who likes arts & crafts?”  “Stick says: a hobby horse! lol!” and so on.)  Now, though, I can’t get enough of the thing, because it’s an awesome way of complaining about the T.

The Ancient Japanese also invented something pretty amazing.   No, I’m not talking about erotic woodcarvings.   I’m referring to the art of the Haiku.  Instead of 140 characters, you get seventeen syllables to express yourself.  To wit:  That tentacled beast/and that woman are in love./Don’t tell Mrs. Squid.

Leave it to my friend Lauryn to bring the ancient art of Haiki into the world of the online confessional.  Her latest blog, Haikummunication, is a series of haikus based on her everyday life.  Instead of Twitter, she Haikus.  It’s actually pretty genius.


Andy Hicks is probably done with the internet forever.

Andy Hicks wrote something on his blog three years ago, and it was a funny something, but he had to remove the post today because  there was one line in it that could very easily be taken out of context.

The post in question was written during the summer of 2007, and was a satirical series of one-line bios that I had supposedly rejected.  Some of them were fairly witty.  Some of them were just silly.  One of them was specifically written to sound awkward and skeezy, but within the context of the rest of the (now deleted) article, it was pretty darn funny.   Out of context, however, it sounded… well… awkward and skeezy.

Guess what one line shows up when you Google “Andy Hicks”? Guess which single line, out of twenty, happens to be the one that happens to show up at number 3 in your search results when you look for my name?  Guess which line googlers JUST HAPPEN to see first, forming their impression of me before I even have a chance to utter “Hello,”?


Readers: consider this a warning.  Never use your real name online.  Never write anything remotely salacious online.  In fact, just disconnect your computer from the Internet right now and throw it out the window and run off to Vermont and live off the land.  Your computer will only bring you pain.

I deleted the post.  Not that Google cares.  It takes a while to re-cache.  Me, Andy Hicks, Capable And Talented Individual Who Owns Every Tori Amos Album, Including The Winter EP, labeled as a Horrible Sexual Harrasser because of one silly line I wrote three years ago in an attempt to be funny.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Google says “we are not evil,”  but I can’t help but think that Googling might be.

Now you know what I’m talking about when I say I should just post a bunch of pictures of me golfing or doing other boring things, instead of doing anything that shows off who I really am.  Because, see, who I really am is a snarky but ultimately kind hearted beast, and that doesn’t translate well in the age of the search engine.

Look – it’s not fair.   I’m trying to not be afraid to write what I want.  And because the kind of career I’m seeking normally has some sort of creative aspect, I want to use my real name and link to this site, because I think it’s – overall – a good thing.  There’s a reason I rarely talk about anything personal on this blog – it’s none of your damn business.  And, look, I’m proud of the stuff I’ve written here.  If you know me, you know that 90% of the time when I say something controversial like that, I’m kidding.   But if you don’t know me, and you search for my name, that one line – THAT ONE SINGLE LINE – is what comes up.  Out of all the silly lines I’ve written over the last three years, the one that comes up is the one that makes me sound like a pervert.

I can’t for the life of me explain why that is.  All the other lines in that post had “Andy Hicks” attached to them, so it could very easily have been “Andy Hicks has a head full of snot and a heart full of love,” which I’m particularly fond of.   Or “Andy Hicks is the recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Awkward,” also in that post.   But no.  The one that pops up in the search results is the boobs one.  Thanks, Google.  Now I’m a meth addict.

See? Kidding.

Now, now, Andy, you shouldn’t have posted that and used your real name and – yes, I know that.   And don’t write anything you wouldn’t want the world to see, I know that too.  See, I have no problem with the whole world seeing that post.   My problem is that the whole world might only see one part of it and not understand that I was joking.

Mark Twain used the N-word in Huckleberry Finn, but no one calls him a racist.  Edgar Allan Poe wrote The Tell-Tale Heart in the first person, but no one thinks he really killed a guy.   Johnny Cash never killed a man in Reno just to watch him die, either.  Now, if you think I’m saying what I do here is on the level of Johnny or Edgar or Mark, you’ve missed the point completely.

But let’s say that you’d never heard of Johnny Cash, and you were vetting Mr. Cash for a job, and the first quote you pulled up was him admitting to a particularly cold-blooded murder.  Would you hire him?

What I’m saying is this: because Google is purely mechanical and unfeeling, there’s nothing that’s really stopping it from pulling up a single, incriminating line and presenting it as being just as true as anything else.  In its “summary” box, Google could just as easily have pulled up my most recent post, where I mention my new portfolio blog with my name attached to it. Or it could have pulled up any other post where I use my full name.  But no: it pulled up that post, and that line, from three years ago.  No rhyme or reason to it.  It just did.

Anyone who would have clicked on that link (you can read a cached version here) would have seen that it was perfectly innocuous and part of an obviously satiric take on the futility of trying to sum yourself up in one sentence or less.  (They would also have seen that it was written during my “I want to be Chuck Klosterman when I grow up” phase.)  But maybe they didn’t click on the link.  Maybe they passed judgement and moved on.  That’s what frightens the hell out of me.

“Andy Hicks is “married to the Lord.”  They have three beautiful children together.”

See?  Could have been that line.  That line’s funny.  But no.  Cold Unfeeling GoogleBot 6000 wanted to be cute.

For the record: Andy Hicks does not stare because he knows it is rude and his Mama raised him right.  He does, however, still have an unnatural fear of clogged drains.


songs you don’t know: “Pork and Beans”, Weezer

Well, look, you’ve probably heard this song if you’ve had your radio on lately, but the video is what’s important here.

Remember when Weezer put The Muppets in their video for “Keep Fishin'”?  Well, this is sort of like that.  Except here, instead of Kermit and Miss Piggy, the band joins forces with the entire internet.  Yes, that’s right, the video features Kelly, the Numa Numa kid, the Star Wars kid, Miss South Carolina, Chris Crocker, the Banana from Peanut Butter Jelly Time… the list goes on and on.

It makes sense.  “Pork and Beans” is Weezer in their “hey, man, I’m gonna do my own thing and you can’t stop me” head space (also see: “The Good Life”, “In The Garage”, etc.).  Your more popular viral videos tend to feature someone “being themselves” for the camera, as awkward and silly as they really are.  The ones that aren’t sort of “cinema verite” for the digital age are generally just really clever, which is why it’s cool to see Liam Sullivan’s “Kelly” character here as well. 

Oh, and in lieu of pyrotechnics, Weezer is playing in front of a bunch of exploding soda-and-Mentos bottles. 


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GeekUSA Most Wanted, March 31, 2008

All blogs are self-congradulatory in one way or another.  They all hinge on the basic idea that someone out there gives a flying fig what you have to say, which is a pretty egotistical prospect, if you think about it.  Unless you’re Joss Whedon or MC Hammer, no one cares but you and your Mom.  And your Mom’s only reading because she wants to spy on you. 

However, WordPress (god bless ’em) makes it real easy to believe that you are, in fact, hot shit; a “new-media mogul” with a virtual audience of cyber-millions.  They do this in a couple of ways, but the most noticable is the “Most Wanted…” feature at the side of your blog.   This is where they list your top 10 posts in order of popularity.  

So, in the interest of disappearing up my own ass finding out what brings people to this blog in the first place, I’ve decided to revisit my “most popular posts”.   Enjoy if you can.

(ed. note: I forgot to mention that GeekUSA recently cracked the 4,000+ hits in a month mark.  Again, thanks, Mom!)

Read the rest of this entry »


i can has watery grave?

Yes, ladehs and gentlements, you’ve heard of lolzcats. You’ve heard of lolzdogs. But have you heard of….. LolzCthulhu?

I suppose you have now.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 6, 2008 in i hate teh internetz, tomfoolery